DCMS expected to delay gambling white paper to May date

The White Paper of recommendations reforming the UK gambling sector is expected to be further delayed until May 2022.

This Morning, The Guardian reported that ‘sources close to the process‘, had disclosed that DCMS would imminently announce a further delay of the White Paper which was originally intended to be published by the end-of-year 2021.

A review of the 2005 Gambling Act was launched in December 2020 led by DCMS that was charged with undertaking a ‘surgical rewiring’ of UK gambling laws, standards and governance.

However, 2021 saw PM Boris Johnson undertake a series of ‘root and branch’ cabinet reshuffles that signalled the likely delay that DCMS would fail to complete its assignment.

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 met by opposition as the Labour Party claimed 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 PLCs required UK regulatory outcomes on industry practices related to compliance, affordability, governance, advertising and further technical requirements.