The UK Government review of the gambling industry is likely to be delayed until May 2022, as reported by the Guardian.
It comes amid the uncertainty of the future of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is understood to be supportive of gambling reform.
The proposals to reform gambling laws were launched in December 2020 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), amid concerns over gambling addiction and children’s exposure to gambling through advertising and sponsorship.
A White Paper was originally due to be published before the end of 2021, before being postponed to early 2022. The initial delay came amid a cabinet reshuffle that saw Chris Philp replace John Whittingdale as Gambling Minister.
Carolyn Harris, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm, explained that current circumstances within the government are having a major impact on the review.
“Of course time must be taken to gather the evidence to ensure the right reforms are put in place, but the gambling review was announced over two years ago,” said Harris.
“Every day of delay leads to further gambling-related harm while the industry rakes in profits. The government must not let its own internal problems stand in the way of much-needed reforms for this country – it is time for action.”
Liz Ritchie, Co-Founder of the charity Gambling With Lives, also stressed the importance of urgency, stating that the White Paper must be published as soon as possible.
“Someone takes their life every day in the UK because of gambling, so we simply cannot wait until May to see this white paper,” said Ritchie. “How many more families need to be shattered by highly addictive gambling products and predatory gambling industry practices before the government acts?”