Still No Consensus Regarding the White Paper

Kosta Kostadinov | Published 5 Oct 2022, 1:07 p.m.

The publication of the White Paper on Gambling Reform has been the biggest and most talked-about topic throughout the year. Even though everyone deems it crucial to regulate the volatile gambling industry, reaching a consensus seems more challenging than it looks. 

Several months ago, we informed you that the White Paper was nearing its publication date. However, many things have happened since then, pushing the publication date further back. One of the critical events for this was the change of Cabinet - a new Prime Minister and a new Secretary of State for DCMS.

The White Paper is still a work in progress

Recently, the Conservative Party held a conference in Birmingham, where the White Paper was one of the discussed topics. Ian Duncan Smith, formerly the leader of the Party and a promoter of gambling reforms, stated that the White Paper is 'a work in progress'.

Its publication was intended for the spring, but according to Smith, Boris Johnson's resignation played a significant role in the latest delay. According to him, it would not be possible to continue where it left off since the new staff members are not yet up to date with everything the previous Cabinet had been doing.

Even in March of this year, Smith stated that gambling reforms are long overdue and that the industry needs to be adequately regulated. He also said that Chris Phillip, the former gambling minister, intended to reform the industry by including more technology to prevent gambling-related harm.

Smith also expressed some concern regarding the possibility of the government postponing the Paper indefinitely, but he is hopeful that will not be the case.

UKGC did not criticize the health review

After Public Health England recently reviewed the cost of gambling-related harms, some believed its findings might not be entirely reliable. During a parliamentary questions session, Damian Collins denied that the Commission has ever questioned the review's findings. 

He says, "Protecting people from gambling harms remains a priority for the government and the Gambling Commission, and we will be led by the best evidence to ensure the right protections are in place."

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport is the institution responsible for the publishing of the White Paper on Gambling Reform, despite speculations that Cabinet might plan to shelve the project altogether.

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