Frazer, who became the culture secretary just three weeks ago, stated that she requires additional time to review the white paper, and thus, did not provide a definite timeline for its publication.
Frazer Prioritizes Listening to Industry Stakeholders and Families Affected by Gambling Harm
In her speech at the Gambling with Lives Annual Parliamentary Forum culture secretary Lucy Frazer expressed her understanding of the frustration caused by the change in ministerial teams leading the government’s work on gambling but reassured attendees that the white paper is an absolute priority for her and prime minister Rishi Sunak.
Frazer further emphasized the importance of hearing from a range of stakeholders in the gambling industry, as well as families who have been affected by gambling harm. She recognized that the impact of gambling is not limited to the individual gambler, but also devastatingly affects their loved ones. She also expressed her concern about the vulnerability of young people.
To ensure that she fully understands all perspectives on these issues, Frazer stated that she will take the necessary time to listen to and engage with these various stakeholders ahead of the publication of the white paper.
The Review of the Gambling Act presents an opportunity to make the necessary changes to ensure the right protections are in place for the digital age. Frazer highlighted that nearly every area of gambling policy is in scope and that the views and input of affected families and advocates will be taken into account.
Frazer acknowledged that the White Paper is not the final word on reform and expressed her commitment to continuing discussions with attendees to understand the drivers of gambling harm and the most effective ways to protect the public.
The UK White Paper Was Delayed Several Times
The release of the white paper on gambling regulation has encountered various roadblocks. Although originally slated for unveiling in the spring of 2022, the situation became more uncertain due to the resignation of gambling minister Chris Philp and Boris Johnson’s departure.
After MP Liz Truss was unable to publish the white paper during her brief term in office, the responsibility fell on Rishi Sunak and his administration to conclude the gambling review. Sunak made it clear that he would prioritize the gambling review and adopt a more inventive approach, even in the face of resistance from industry supporters.
However, Sunak recently shuffled his cabinet, causing the gambling minister, Paul Scully, to be moved to another department. As a result, Stuart Andrew became the sixth gambling minister to assume responsibility for the white paper since the UK government initiated its review of gambling legislation in December 2020.
This caused further frustration among gambling industry stakeholders as it meant an additional delay of the publication of the white paper.