UK gambling stakeholders have been warned that the government will announce a further delay in the publishing of the White Paper of proposals to reform the industry.
This morning, The Guardian reported that a further delay would push the publication of the White Paper to May 2022 – citing “three sources with knowledge of the process”.
The government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act was launched in December 2020 led by DCMS who originally planned to deliver its recommendations by the end 2021 proceedings.
However, following a series of ‘root-to-branch ’ cabinet reforms ordered by PM Boris Johnson during 2021, it became apparent that DCMS would not deliver on its intended date.
Last December, speaking at the GambleAware Conference, DCMS undersecretary Chris Philip, the third minister charged with leading gambling’s reforms agenda since its 2020 inception – declared that the White Paper had been delayed to Spring 2022.
At the time, DCMS announced a new department schedule, that would see the White Paper published following the announcement of the winner of the Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition (outcome expected in February/March).
A key departmental remit, that sees DCMS charged with appointing the company that will operate the National Lottery for the next 10-years.
News of a further delay was criticised by the Labour Party, who stated that much-needed sector reforms were being delayed “due to a deepening crisis within government”.
Industry leadership will be frustrated by the announcement of a further delay as February and March sees the publication of 2021 financial results – in which all sector PLCs required UK regulatory outcomes on industry practices related to compliance, affordability, governance, advertising and further technical requirements.