GambleAware has expressed concern that the government’s white paper judgement on the Gambling Act review may be further delayed.
Political turmoil in Westminster has cast uncertainty as to whether the white paper – originally slated for publication in the spring – will still be made public this month, as previously stated by the government.
Boris Johnson’s withdrawal from the premiership was preceded by a mass resignation of Ministers, including Chris Philp – the DCMS Undersecretary charged with oversight of the Gambling Act review.
DCMS Parliamentary Undersecretary Nigel Huddleston has stated that the White Paper on changes to the 2005 Gambling Act is still on track for publication ‘in the coming weeks’.
However, with the Conservative Party undergoing a leadership change – 11 candidates have now thrown their hats in the ring – and Jacob Rees-Mogg has informed media last week that no new legislation will be signed for the next three months.
Zoë Osmond, GambleAware CEO, said: “As we await the publication of the White Paper, which is set to be the most comprehensive gambling review in 15 years, we sincerely hope the current political situation will not result in further delay.
“Millions of people are currently at risk of experiencing gambling harms across Great Britain and up to 7% of the population may be affected by the gambling behaviour of someone close to them.”
Due to the unstable political situation in Westminster, UK gambling stakeholders are beginning to raise concerns, particularly responsible gaming and harm minimisation organisations such as GambleAware and GamCare.
Last month, GamCare expressed its belief that the UK’s cost of living crisis was placing greater financial pressure on consumers, influencing their decisions to make ends meet and potentially increasing their risk of gambling addiction.
With the publication date of the White Paper now again uncertain, GambleAware has urged policymakers to maintain focus on the review, citing the economic burdens many in the UK are currently experiencing.
Osmund added: “As the cost-of-living crisis continues, it is vital that gambling harm is addressed as an urgent public health issue and that the upcoming White Paper will propose a consistent and sustainable funding model to ensure the long-term stability and certainty of necessary prevention and treatment services.”