Campaign For Fairer Gambling Sets Sights On US Market

Written By J.R. Duren on May 25, 2023
UK-based Campaign for Fairer Gambling group promotes safe gambling and proper oversight

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFG), a gaming fairness group that started overseas, is planning to enter the US market.

CFG began its advocacy in England, creating reform of unregulated fixed-odds betting terminals. CFG’s founder, Derek Webb, is now ready to take his advocacy movement across the proverbial pond.

“I have decided to relaunch the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, to provide the evidence-based approach to improve US remote gambling policy, legislation, regulation, and enforcement standards and reduce the associated harms,” Webb said in a statement.

A greed rush in the US market as an aspect of sloppy gambling oversight

CFG’s success in England led to a sharp reduction in revenue generated by unregulated betting terminals. It also provided policies to politicians who made gambling reform a key part of their platforms in the country’s 2019 elections.

However, success in England doesn’t equate to success in the US. But Webb is unfazed by the cultural and market differences. He said some of the same companies that “repeatedly breach regulations” and generate black-market profit are now operating in the United States.

Webb believes that states that rushed to launch online gambling have been sloppy in their oversight
of rule-breaking operators.

“In the start-up greed rush, some US states have overlooked these bad practices, ignored the lessons from outside the US, and have not adequately prepared to mitigate the negatives of remote gambling expansion,” he said.

As for what Webb thinks he can bring to the US market, he is optimistic that his evidence-based approach can create meaningful change on behalf of gamblers.

Campaign for Fairer Gambling will focus on bi-partisan issues

CFG’s Objectives statement indicates the group will seek a bi-partisan agenda of:

  • Promoting consumer protections
  • Reducing the harm that gambling causes
  • Calling “false representations” by those with a financial interest in gambling

In a statement on the Fairer Gambling website, Webb said:

“Fairer Gambling will seek to raise standards at a state-by-state level while advocating for federal oversight of some aspects of gambling. This dual strategy should ensure that states are motivated to do better in order to minimize federal oversight, with the more forward-thinking states incentivized to encourage other states to raise standards.”

The group will adopt another dual strategy, too: It will provide gambling policies to supporters of gambling legalization while helping those cynical about gambling expansion spread the word about the “financial, social, and health harms that research shows are particularly associated with remote, online and mobile gambling.”

Webb anticipates pushback from gaming lobbyists

Amid his efforts to advocate for safer gambling in England, Webb said he faced opposition from gambling lobbyists.

It was common for him to be branded as anti-gaming. However, Webb said, CFG’s motivation is quite the opposite: “Our intent is to preserve access to lawful but safer gambling consumers.”

Photo by Playin USA
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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