Leadership Election Could Delay Gambling Review Announcement

It feels like we have been waiting forever for the government to release their White Paper on changes to the UK’s gambling laws. It looks as if the ongoing chaos in Downing Street may cause further delay to its publication.

One after another MP resigned from the government last week. One of them just happened to be Chris Philp who was the junior culture minister. That job included being the gambling minister and his resignation letter proved to be an informative one.

Mr Philp resigned just hours before Boris Johnson did so. Could he have not waited a bit longer as it looked certain Johnson would be pushed out of Downing Street? Philp was interviewed outside the Houses of Parliament about his views on the crisis. Most people ignored what he was saying and wondered just why the Benny Hill theme could be heard in the background.

More informative was the resignation letter that he sent to Boris Johnson. It confirmed that the White Paper was indeed at No 10 for “final approval.” With all those resignation letters to read and his own to write, Johnson probably didn’t spend too much time on that final approval.

Mr Philp called for the work on gambling law reforms to continue. His letter revealed that the review includes “strong measures to protect people from the ravages of gambling addiction.” Previously the MP had said how online casinos and slots were the areas that worried him most when it comes to the gambling industry.

The resignation letter continued with the MP writing about the meetings he’d had with families who had been affected by a family member committing suicide due to gambling harm. It concluded: “I would strongly urge you to deliver the review in full and undiluted.”

Just when will the White Paper be released and subsequent legislation passed? After Johnson resigned as Prime Minister, it’s been confirmed that no attempts will be made by him to implement new policies. Will that affect the gambling law review?

It’s possible that might be the case. What then if the new Prime Minister doesn’t agree with what is in the White Paper? It may well be some time until we see legislation going through the Commons and Lords.

With MPs such as Ian Duncan-Smith threatening “war” if the plans for gambling review are watered-down, there could be more problems on the back benches for the new leader.