Yet Another New MP in Charge of Gambling Reform

Another week goes by and the UK Government White Paper on gambling reform still hasn’t been published. It’s not just that but there is yet another new Minister in charge. This week it’s Paul Scully MP who has been named the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Tech and the Digital Economy.

That long title makes him the Minister in charge of leading the reform of the Gambling Act 2005. With the continual chaos in Downing Street this year, there has been continual changes, though little seems to be happening regarding gambling reform. It’s not that often the subject is even discussed with fracking seemingly more important. Michelle Donelan remains the Secretary of State for the department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS).

It’s been a busy year for Paul Scully who is the Tory MP for Sutton and Cheam. He’s previously been both the Minister for London and the Minister of State for Local Government and Building Safety. He replaces Damian Collins who was in charge for just three months.

Scully becomes the sixth Minister in charge of the Gambling Act review. The new guy in charge said that he is “excited to get stuck into my new role.” His appointment has been greeted by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC). Their CEO Michael Dugher mentioned how Scully had previously been a Minister of State at the Department for Levelling Up. That’s something the BGC has said they are willing and able to support.

Mr Dugher added: “We are ready to work with DCMS to help find carefully targeted, proportionate measures which achieve the right balance. “We want to continue to drive big changes and drive higher standards on safer gambling to better protect the most vulnerable, whilst at the same time ensuring that the 22.5 million punters who enjoy a flutter each month, perfectly safely and responsibly, have the freedom to do so.

It was in the 2019 Conservative Party Manifesto that the promise was made to introduce gambling reforms. As we reach the end of 2022, there hasn’t even been a White Paper on proposed gambling reforms published.

That did look likely in July with the White Paper sent to Downing Street for a final review. However, that’s when chaos really broke out and Boris Johnson resigned as Prime Minister. While he remained in office and the Tories held a leadership election, no new policies were going to be introduced.

With Liz Truss elected as Johnson’s replacement, the hope was that the White Paper might soon be released. Cue more chaos like we’d never seen before. Rather than introducing new regulation, the antics in Downing Street led to an increase in betting on politics. Will we see the White Paper published before the end of the year? Don’t bet on it.