CARE Describe White Paper Delay as “inexcusable”

Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) have reacted to the news that the government White Paper on gambling reform has been delayed. They have described the delay as “inexcusable” and it will cause “untold grief.”

The resignation of Boris Johnson is the reason for the delay. No new policy decisions will be made until either Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss takes over as Prime Minister on September 5. The White Paper is at 10 Downing Street for its final review. That’s on hold now though and the planned July release won’t now take place.

This is the fourth time that the review has been delayed. The 2019 Tory party manifesto said that the 2005 Gambling Act would be reformed if they won the General Election. The 2005 legislation is now outdated due to the arrival of gambling on the internet and mobile devices.

The Senior Policy Officer at CARE is Tim Cairns. He’s spoken about how the White Paper was a “culmination of many months of work and consultation with experts and campaigners.” He added that there is a “a democratic and a moral case for green lighting this proposal, and finally allowing parliamentarians to get to grips with it.”

Mr Cairns believes that the delay will “only cause more, untold grief.” Statistics show that every day in the UK, there is a sucide that has been caused by “gambling-related harm.” What is also worrying him though are reports that the measures that the White Paper contains has excluded some “key reforms.”

This may include the compulsory levy on gambling companies. Funds raised would be used to help those affected by gambling problems and to help research into the subjects. The Senior Policy Officer called on the new Prime Minister to “ask whose side they are on.” Will they “fight to help the vulnerable” or “side with the gambling industry.”

He believes that any reform needs to be “comprehensive.” This would include curbs on advertising, ensuring children are kept safe and the relationship between sport and gambling. A “meaningful statutory levy” is needed and the gambling industry should “be forced to pay for the harm it creates, not the NHS and taxpayers.”

We do know that the White Paper will take action against online casinos and slots. Former Gambling Minister Chris Philp (who resigned shortly before the Prime Minister) said that those were the areas that worried him most when it comes to the causes of gambling addiction. Possible measures include increased affordability checks and lower maximum stake levels on casino games.