Government to appoint new gambling reform lead as Collins steps back

| By Robert Fletcher
Damian Collins has stepped down as the British government’s lead on gambling and lotteries policy, including the Gambling Act review.

Collins confirmed the news in a post on Twitter yesterday (27 October), though at the time of writing, he is still listed as parliamentary undersecretary of state for tech and the digital economy by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

He first took on the role in July this year, replacing Chris Philp, who left office during the month’s swathe of resignations protesting Boris Johnson’s continued leadership of the Conservative party.

Last month, following the arrival of Liz Truss as prime minister, it was confirmed that Collins would remain in the position.

However, it appears Collins will become the fourth minister to step aside as head of the review, with John Wittingdale and Nigel Huddleston having both also held responsibility. 

“It has been a real pleasure to work with the team at the DCMS to take forward the Online Safety Bill and other measures to strengthen our digital economy,” Collins said in his Twitter post. “I will now continue to support these efforts in parliament from the backbenches.”

Collins’ apparent departure comes after it was confirmed this week that Michelle Donelan is to remain as the secretary of state for DCMS under new prime minister Rishi Sunak.

Donelan was appointed to the ministerial position last month by Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss, replacing Nadine Dorries, who had served in the role since September 2021 under Boris Johnson. Donelan will continue to oversee the  review into the 2005 Gambling Act.

In 2020, the government launched a review of the Gambling Act with an initial consultation that closed in March 2021. The next stage is a white paper, though this has been repeatedly delayed due to personnel changes in government and at the Gambling Commission. 

The paper was only weeks away from publication when Truss announced her resignation and it has not yet been announced when the document can be expected.

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