UK Gambling White Paper May Be Published by Christmas

  • BGC chief executive Michael Dugher claims that a draft white paper could be ready in November
  • There is an expectation that the final white paper could be a lot different from a previous draft
  • Political turmoil has led to a lot of uncertainty over the publication of the white paper
  • The government’s review of the Gambling Act 2005 began nearly two years ago
Man flipping through magazine
The BGC’s chief executive believes that the UK government will release its white paper on the Gambling Act 2005 before Christmas. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Publication on the horizon?

Speaking at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) chief executive Michael Dugher claims that the government’s hope is to release its white paper on the Gambling Act 2005 in advance of Christmas.

a draft paper will be ready by the beginning of November

Dugher said he recently spoke with two influential figures regarding the publication of the white paper, Michelle Donelan and Damian Collins. Donelan recently took over the role of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Culture Secretary, while Collins held onto his position as Gambling Minister. Following a conversation with the two ministers, Dugher believes that a draft paper will be ready by the beginning of November and they aiming to have a final version ready to go before Christmas.  

Change in approach

Dugher also believes that the new white paper will be significantly different than a previous draft version, saying that “I think this government has slightly different views.” Whatever the case might be, Dugher feels that the constant uncertainty over the white paper is bad for the gambling industry.

The BGC is the industry body for the UK’s gambling sector. Its chief executive Michael Dugher is a former Labour Party politician.

During his talk, Dugher explained that the gambling industry has had to deal with struggles as a result of political turmoil in the UK over the past few years. He is adamant, however, that the current government still plans to publish the white paper. After Liz Truss recently took over from Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, there were some reports that there would be no publication of the white paper.

A lot of uncertainty

With the UK dealing with significant economic issues at the moment, there were those who believed that the white paper could have a negative impact on the tax revenue that the government gets from the gambling industry. Truss, in particular, is a pro-capitalist leader who believes in low taxes and minimal state intervention, something which is at odds with tighter gambling restrictions.

numerous delays to the publication of the white paper

There was an expectation that significant restrictions would be put in place off the back of the white paper’s recommendations. These include strict caps on online gambling stake sizes and the banning of gambling-related sponsorships in sports. Recent indications, though, appear to point towards there being a more watered-down white paper. The initial review of gambling legislation began nearly two years ago and there have been numerous delays to the publication of the white paper ever since.