Government source confirms white paper “imminent”
iGB understands that the impending release of the document is the reason that the DCMS Select Committee on gambling regulation oral evidence session – which was planned for today (25 April) – was postponed. The source added that the session is “likely” to be rescheduled to mid-May.
The Gambling Act review white paper is a Whitehall policy document that will point the way for future legislative reform of the UK’s gambling laws by recommending a number of specific policy proposals.
Within the white paper is expected to be a number of proposed reforms to the country’s gambling laws, including potentially the imposition of financial risk checks on vulnerable players, a statutory levy to fund RET projects, the creation of a gambling Ombudsman to solve disputes and limits on amounts that can be staked by users.
The release of the document will be the culmination of a multiple-years-long process that began in December 2020 when the then gambling minister, Nigel Huddleston, announced the initiation of the Gambling Act review, the fulfilment of a Conservative Party manifesto commitment to make UK law “fit for the digital age”.
Following the conclusion of the review in March 2021, the document was expected to be published before the end of the year, but has faced repeated delays. The replacement of John Whittingdale as gambling minister by Chris Philp pushed the release date further back to summer 2022.
The white paper was further delayed as a downstream effect of turmoil in Downing Street, as the resignation of Boris Johnson and, later, Liz Truss, again pushed back the document’s release.
The latest delay is rumoured to be due to the current prime minister Rishi Sunak’s promotion of gambling minister Paul Scully, replaced by Stuart Andrew, who currently holds the position.