The white paper outlining the future of the gambling industry in the UK is being delayed for the fourth time. The future of gambling in the UK is disrupted by differing political, business and health related interests.
The white paper was supposed to summarize the results of a review launched in late 2020 into the UK’s 2005 Gambling Act. The white paper was supposed to bring about updates and regulatory changes to address gambling operations in the UK. The white paper was almost certain to be released a couple of weeks ago. The paper has had a lot of ups and downs in its publication.
The white paper cannot be released until a new Conservative leader is elected to replace Johnson as prime minister, according to some Conservative MPs and Boris Johnson advisers. Conservative MPs are growing more and more frustrated by their losses and are at risk of losing their seats. According to reports, David Canzini, a senior Johnson adviser, has brought to Johnson’s attention that the white paper can’t be published because it needs to be signed by his successor.
The new deadline will be pushed to September when a new Conservative leader will be elected. A tangled web of political and economic interests has been the name of the game for almost two years, with conflicting views both within and without the Conservatives. Sir Iain Duncan Smith was very outspoken when he criticized the delays, focusing on the harmful effects of industry, regulated with almost two-decade-old statutes.
The reform is spearheaded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the previous deadline was supposed to be before the summer recess. Damian Collins took on the role of parliamentary under-secretary of state for online safety at the DCMS, and was tasked with overseeing the release of the document just a fortnight ago, so he still has a lot to catch up on.
GambleAware was one of the charities that voiced its discontentment and concerns, aiming to help people avoid or cope with gambling harms. “We are deeply concerned by the risk of further delays to the gambling White Paper”, according to the Belfast Telegraph. Failure to act now puts more people at risk of gambling harms and makes public health issues worse.
Gambling With Lives is a charity that helps families with children who have taken their lives because of gambling addiction. Tens of thousands more people will be harmed and some will die as a result of the government’s inability to push the document forward, according to a spokesman.
It is important to note that a rushed decision might not be the most desirable outcome from a process that it supposedly nearing its completion, as conflicting interests meddle with the process.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith said he would go to war with the government if it meant implementing tougher reforms, but that he would accept the white paper because it was an advance on where we were. This could be true in the short term.
The UK government has delayed the release of its white paper on the future of the gambling industry in the country for the fourth time. The white paper was supposed to be released before the summer recess on July 21. The white paper was launched in late 2020 into UK’s 2005 Gambling Act.