The Conservative Party MP John Whittingdale who’s the government’s current Minister of State for Media and information and under David Cameron ended up being the Secretary of State for the Department of customs Media and Sport from 11th might 2015 right through to 14th July 2016, is overtaking going the review that is ongoing the UK Gambling Act in its current form.
Whittingdale takes over the role which until now was the position of Sports Minister Nigel Huddlestone, with Whittingdale replacing Huddlestone only three months into the review of the Gambling Act.
Certain sections of the mainstream media have taken aim at Whittingdale’s appointment, as being not in favour of ‘tougher’ rules and regulations covering the gambling industry in the UK.Indeed, this view is also held by the Labour Party Member of Parliament Carolyn Harris who is the current chair of a cross party group of MP’s who are investigating gambling related harm, with Harris being quoted as stating:
“Given the new appointee has a history of being strongly supportive of the industry, I very much hope he will be focused on the evidence and not influenced by aggressive industry lobbying.”
According to reports, Huddlestone has been replaced due to his ongoing workload being such that he does not have enough time to dedicate towards the review, which once complete will no doubt ensure a big shake up to the 2005 Act.
A spokesperson for the Department of Culture Media and Sport, speaking about the appointment of Whittingdale, said:
“The minister fully supports the comprehensive, evidence-led review of the gambling act to ensure that legislation is fit for the digital age.”(*)While as they see him Liz Ritchie through the charity Gambling with life had this to express about Whittingdale’s visit: (*)“The failures of successive ministers to right the wrongs associated with the 2005 Gambling Act and rein within the greed associated with the gambling industry has generated tens of thousands of individuals dying through gambling associated committing suicide and an incredible number of life torn apart.”(*)“The brand new minister has the opportunity to place this right. Bereaved families will hold him to your task of preserving the life associated with the generation that is next”(*)Once the review of the Gambling Act is complete, proposed changes could include the introduction of an online bet that is maximum, with all the figure of £2 being commonly reported perhaps being introduced.(*)Such a move if it comes down to fruition, would no doubt have the opposite impact of protecting players and rather force players who gamble responsibly to use their fortune at websites operated outside of the remit and reach for the UKGC. Hence causing more damage than good.(*)