Home > Legal & compliance > Legal > Bacta CEO seeks clarity on Gambling Act review from new DCMS minister

Bacta CEO seeks clarity on Gambling Act review from new DCMS minister

| By Marese O'Hagan
John White, chief executive of amusement machine industry body Bacta, is seeking assurances from Lucy Frazer MP, the newest head of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that the Gambling Act review is imminent.
Lucy Frazer

In a letter addressed to Frazer, White detailed what Bacta views as the top priorities for discussion.

He said the gambling sector “greatly needs” reform and a regulatory framework that is fit for purpose.

White also emphasised the necessity of collaboration between Bacta and DCMS in order to bring about the Gambling Act review with no further delays.

White stated that Bacta had been encouraged by recent implications that the review and its attached white paper were imminent. But he added that the trade group is conscious the latest departmental reshuffle could once again impact the timeline and invited Frazer to discuss the next steps for the review. Many expected the white paper setting out the government’s plans for reforming Great Britain’s gambling industry to be published this month.

Related to this collaboration would be the ensuring of a continuously smooth relationship between Bacta and the government, he continued, noting Bacta established “positive” relationships with former culture secretary Michelle Donelan and former gambling minister Paul Scully MP during their tenures.

New leadership, new DCMS

Frazer was appointed to a slimmed-down DCMS on 7 February. Her predecessor Donelan was appointed to lead the new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).

Scully was moved to the role of junior minister at the DSIT last week. He was appointed as gambling minister in October last year.

Like Donelan’s appointment before, brought about by former prime minister Liz Truss’ assignment to office, Frazer was chosen for the role by current prime minister Rishi Sunak.

During the first round of Sunak’s cabinet reshuffles, Donelan had been allowed to keep her position.

Gambling Act white paper delays

Several changes in parliament over the last year have meant that the Gambling Act review, and the white paper that would spell out the reforms, have been repeatedly delayed.

The white paper was said to be ready in July, but this was thrown into disarray after former gambling minister Chris Philp stepped down, followed swiftly by then-prime minister Boris Johnson.

Subsequent prime minster Truss’ stint in office did not prove hopeful for the review’s progression, as she resigned just 44 days into her new role.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter