National media in London is reporting that the UK Government’s scheduled review of the nation’s gambling industry is likely to be delayed until May, amid uncertainty over the future of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is understood to be supportive of gambling reform.
Proposals for reform were launched in December 2020 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), amid concerns over addiction and children’s exposure to gambling through advertising and sponsorship. A Government White Paper was then due to be published before the end of 2021 and was postponed to early 2022 following the replacement of John Whittingdale as Gambling Minister, by Chris Philp.
Carolyn Harris, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm, explained that circumstances within the government are having a major impact on the review.
“Of course time must be taken to gather the evidence to ensure the right reforms are put in place, but the gambling review was announced over two years ago,” she said. Adding that “every day of delay leads to further gambling-related harm while the industry rakes in profits. The Government must not let its own internal problems stand in the way of much-needed reforms for this country – it is time for action.”