Will Government Gambling Act Review be Abandoned?

Will Government Gambling Act Review be Abandoned?

2022 has continually seen the UK government review of the 2005 Gambling Act be delayed. With a new Prime Minister now in place, there are rumours that the review may be abandoned by Liz Truss.

The new Prime Minister obviously has a lot on her to do list. Little could she have imagined that the first couple of weeks of her time in Downing Street would be overshadowed by the death of the Queen.

Now comes a report in the Guardian that the Truss government plans on scrapping some legislative proposals. This could include the publication of the White Paper into gambling reform.

The White Paper had already been delayed when finally being sent to Downing Street for a final review before being published. Then chaos broke out with Boris Johnson resigning as Prime Minister.

A review of the outdated 2005 Gambling Act was promised in the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto. 202 saw the redview take place but still we aren’t sure just what the government have in mind. It’s believed that there will be action taken against online casinos. Possible measures may include stricter affordability checks and lower maximum stake limits imposed.

There is a lack of continuity regarding the review. Four ministers have overseen the review and two Prime Ministers. It’s not known if the views on the subject may have changed now Liz Truss is in charge. With the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine, it may well be going down the pecking order.

Regulus Partners analyst and partner Dan Waugh has commented on the latest rumours. He believes that abandoning the review might be worse for the gambling industry than it being published and legislation passed.

He says that “we have surely come too far to turn back on publishing the findings and policy implications of the review.” If the White Paper was not to be published, it would have been a “catastrophic waste of time” with “a number of legitimate concerns” not addressed.

Waugh added that even if the review is abandoned, there could be new rules introduced in a less transparent manner rather than the Act being updated. He feels that could be “the worst outcome for the industry.”

Waugh believes the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) might “seek to exploit the situation by imposing its own agenda without the benefit of public and parliamentary scrutiny and due process.”

This year has seen the UKGC becoming increasingly stricter with several fines being issued. They have also continually made it clear to licence holders of the way they expect them to behave in areas such as protecting customers who are suffering gambling harm.