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