Paul Scully takes over UK gambling legislation

The UK has another new "gambling minister".
The UK has another new "gambling minister".

The MP has replaced Damian Collins as the minister responsible for UK gambling.

UK.- It’s all-change again at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Paul Scully MP has been put in charge of UK gambling legislation, replacing Damian Collins. He becomes the fifth person in two years to have responsibility for the UK government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Scully is the Conservative Party MP for Sutton and Cheam on the edge of Greater London. He was first elected in 2015. His most recent role was as minister of state for local government and building safety and minister for London. He’s now been made parliamentary under-secretary of state for tech and the digital economy. He will continue to work as minister for London in tandem with the new role.

Scully’s title is the same as that held by Chris Philp from 2021 until his resignation in protest at Boris Johnson’s leadership. Philps took up the baton of the UK Gambling review from John Whittingdale, who in turn had replaced Nigel Huddleston early in 2021.

It had looked like Collins may stay in the role after it was confirmed that Michelle Donelan would remain at the helm of the DCMS. Collins had taken on the responsibility for gambling after Philp’s resignation and remained in the position during Liz Truss’s brief tenure as PM. However, he resigned on Friday morning.

Scully wrote on Twitter: “I’m excited to get stuck into my new role as minister for tech at DCMS and delighted to continue the work with so many friends as minister for London.”

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) welcomed the new appointment. CEO Michael Dugher said: “On behalf of the 119,000 people whose jobs are supported by our members – from the high street to hospitality, from tourism to world-leading British tech – I’d like to congratulate both Paul Scully MP on his new role and Michelle Donelan MP on her re-appointment as secretary of state for DCMS.”

He added: “We are ready to work with DCMS to help find carefully targeted, proportionate measures which achieve the right balance. We want to continue to drive big changes and drive higher standards on safer gambling to better protect the most vulnerable, whilst at the same time ensuring that the 22.5 million punters who enjoy a flutter each month, perfectly safely and responsibly, have the freedom to do so.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to Damian Collins MP, the widely respected outgoing minister who was leading on the review, for his willingness to engage with the industry and understand the contribution we make to the economy.”

Collins said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with the team at the DCMS to take forward the Online Safety Bill and other measures to strengthen our digital economy. I will now continue to support these efforts in parliament from the backbenchers.”

The UK government’s gambling white paper was due to be published in spring but has been repeatedly delayed for various reasons. There were even suggestions that Truss would scrap reforms altogether. There have been reports that the paper has been pushed back to next year.

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