The follow-up call for evidence will invite interested parties to send in their views on three questions on their views regarding the recently published white paper into regulating the gambling sector. The committee has set a 14 July deadline for stakeholders to send in their response.
The first question asks for people to name the most welcome proposal in the gambling white paper. Secondly, those writing in will be required to say whether there are any significant gaps in the government’s reforms.
The final question asks what are the potential barriers to the government and the Gambling Commission delivering on the white paper’s main measures by the previously stated aim of summer 2024.
Race to complete gambling consultations
This date is important as it is before the next UK general election, after which point there may be a different government in place with differing views on how the gambling sector should be regulated.
The government – through both CMS and the Gambling Commission – has a great deal of work to complete before mid-2024. In the white paper the word “consult” or “consultation” was written 150 times.
The number of proposals that require further hashing out has faced criticism from some quarters, with some characterising this as the government punting on the issue.
“How long will it take to have more consultations?” said Conservative peer Lord Grade of Yarmouth in a Lord’s debate in May. “That is a concern.
“This reminds me of the great saying in the film industry, ‘hurry up and wait’, when you get to the location and everybody is standing around, ready, but nothing happens,” he said. “We are ready to go with this.”
Gambling select committee launches
In December 2022, the CMS select committee launched an inquiry into how the government was approaching gambling regulation “following warnings that more needs to be done to protect people” from gambling-related harm.
The inquiry launched in addition to the Gambling Act Review, the government’s evaluation of the country’s gambling laws. The long-awaited product of this process was the government white paper, which CMS released on 27 April.
In March, the committee released written responses to its initial call for evidence, in which many operators expressed frustration at the Gambling Commission’s capability to implement the white paper’s proposals.