UK Govt Restructures the Department Responsible for Gambling

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The UK government has announced another change in the department responsible for gambling policy. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has lost its digital duties, becoming the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It will be led by Lucy Frazer, who replaces Michelle Donelan at the helm.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak’s latest shakeup will see Donelan lead the new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). It has not yet been confirmed whether the DCMS will retain responsibility for gambling. Frazer is the MP for South East Cambridgeshire, home to Newmarket and the National Stud.

It seems likely that the change can only further delay the government’s gambling white paper. Donelan was appointed to lead the DCMS by former PM Liz Truss in September, replacing Nadine Dorris.

She remained in the role after Sunak took office as PM, but a subsequent move saw Damian Collins replaced by Paul Scully as the DCMS minister directly responsible for gambling. Scully became the fifth person in two years to have responsibility for the UK government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Scully recently stressed that the paper’s publication will not be the end of the reform process, echoing comments made in early December.

He said: “The white paper is not the final word on gambling reform. It will be followed by consultations led by both DCMS and the Gambling Commission. I want the industry to stay engaged as policies are refined, finalised and implemented.”

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