New DCMS inquiry hints at further delay to UK gambling review white paper

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The UK government’s long-awaited gambling act review white paper looks set to be sidelined until at least February 2023.

The latest setback comes amid the formation of a committee of MPs from the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) to examine the regulation of gambling in the UK.

The new committee will investigate the progress the government has made in addressing gambling-related harm by the Public Accounts Committee, National Audit Office and House of Lords Committee, among others.

The investigation was announced yesterday (21 December) after the government’s review of the Gambling Act 2005 concluded last year with a white paper on regulatory reforms set to be published, although it has now been delayed on several separate occasions.

Any further postponement will frustrate gambling harm campaigners and also the licensed gambling industry, which has been waiting for confirmation and clarity for well over a year.

The newly formed DCMS committee is inviting stakeholders to provide written evidence up until 10 February 2023. The written responses would become largely irrelevant in legislative terms should the government’s white paper be published in advance of that date.

DCMS Committee member and Labour MP Julie Elliott: “The DCMS Committee’s inquiry will look at the scale of gambling-related harm in the UK, what the government should do about it and how a regulatory regime can best adapt to new forms of online gambling, based both in and outside the UK.” 

Topics up for discussion include the scale of gambling-related harm in the UK and the key priorities set to be addressed in the government’s white paper, as well as exploring any problems that may occur when a gambling company is based outside of the UK.

DCMS Committee member and Labour MP Julie Elliott said: “Gambling acts as an enjoyable pastime for large numbers of players, but regulation is struggling to keep pace with the rapidly changing way in which it happens today.

“This puts people at risk of the devastating harm it can sometimes cause to lives. The DCMS Committee’s inquiry will look at the scale of gambling-related harm in the UK, what the government should do about it and how a regulatory regime can best adapt to new forms of online gambling, based both in and outside the UK,” she added.

Representatives of the UK gambling industry have been told that “nobody is going to get everything they want” from the government’s gambling review, according to Tuesday’s Racing Post.

Those words came from Paul Scully – the UK MP with responsibility for gambling at DCMS – who was speaking at a House of Commons reception on Monday partly organised by UK trade body the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).

Scully did not give any indication as to when the white paper will be published.

About the author

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Jake Evans

Jake Evans is an NCTJ-accredited journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and sports betting industry since 2017. He is the managing editor of iGaming NEXT and has previously worked in both content and data for EGR, Stats Perform and Football Radar.

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