Government Crisis Delays Release of White Paper

This month was to see the UK government’s White Paper on gambling reforms finally published. However, that’s not going to be the case due to current government crisis.

The long-awaited document is at Number 10 and undergoing a final review. That was confirmed by the then Gambling Minister Chris Philp. However, he resigned his post and Damian Collins has taken over responsibility for the gambling review.

July was to see the White Paper released but with a leadership election taking place, it’s again been delayed. When Boris Johnson resigned as PM but carried on as caretaker until a replacement was chosen, he said there’d be no new policy announcements until then.

We now know that a new Prime Minister won’t be chosen until September 5. Now therefore is not the time to be releasing the White Paper. It’s felt that the new Prime Minister shouldn’t have to deal with something they and their cabinet should have to be bound to. Of course, it may even be the case they have different views on the subject.

It now looks likely that it could be late September or October before the White Paper is finally released. It could undergo changes by the time it does get released, depending on how the new Prime Minister feels on this subject. Any legislation passed probably won’t occur until next year.

The decision to delay the White Paper has received mixed reactions. Sir Iain Duncan Smith is an avid campaigner for stricter rules on gambling in the UK. He’d previously threatened ‘war’ if the changes announced weren’t strict enough.

Talking about the decision to delay the White Paper, the former Tory leader said he has “concerns” over the possible contents of the White Paper, although anything would be “an advance.”
His hope is that the new Prime Minister can “focus on the White Paper.” He added that “I’m not going away. I will keep fighting for reform.”

Not so upset about the delay is Conservative MP Jack Brereton. He had called for a delay in an article written earlier this week. His view is that a policy that will “be impacting the lives of millions cannot be rushed through haphazardly.”

Perhaps someone should tell him that the review began two years ago and the White Paper was expected to be released at the end of last year. He’s not in favour of a mandatory levy on gambling companies.