UK gambling legislation: uncertainty continues with Truss resignation

Liz Truss has resigned as UK prime minister.
Liz Truss has resigned as UK prime minister.

Liz Truss has resigned after only 44 days in office, casting further doubt on the future of gambling reforms.

UK.- The future of planned changes to the UK’s gambling legislation has become even more uncertain following Liz Truss’s resignation as prime minister after just 44 days in the role. Truss won the Conservative Party leadership contest to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister but has faced growing opposition in her short tenure.

An unpopular “mini budget” that proposed tax cuts led to the sacking of chancellor of the exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng and calls for Truss to go. Thirteen MPs had called for Truss to resign.

When Johnson announced his own resignation in the summer, the then-imminent publication of the DCMS white paper on gambling was put on hold pending the leadership contest. Truss wasn’t in office for long enough for her own opinion on the proposed legislative overhaul to become clear, but it had been suggested that she might drop the gambling review or at least push it back until next year.

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, where Damian Collins is now overseeing the white paper, denied that was the case and suggested the white paper could be published before the year ends. However, another leadership contest could delay things once again.

While the contest will be held more quickly this time since Parliament is in session, with a vote expected next week, the industry will be waiting to see who is chosen as the new prime minister and what that means for the Gambling Act review. A new PM could choose to reshuffle positions again, which could lead to new faces at the DCMS.

When Truss took office, Nadine Dorries resigned as secretary of state, to be replaced by Michelle Donelan. And while Collins remained in place, there’s no guarantee that he will after the next leadership contest.

Matt Zarb-Cousin, the director of Clean Up Gambling, said: “Truss departed from her party’s manifesto commitments and was punished for it. One of those the next Prime Minister can deliver on straight away is the Gambling Act Review.

“After a lengthy and evidence-based process, the white paper is oven ready and just awaiting publication. Releasing it will give the next administration a quick win, so there is no reason for any further delays.”

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