Sports minister Stuart Andrew to take on gambling brief

 

Sports minister Stuart Andrew to take on gambling brief.

As the government’s gambling white paper waits, sports minister Stuart Andrew will assume the role of gambling minister.

The MP for Pudsey, Horsforth, and Aireborough in West Yorkshire, Andrew, is expected to succeed Paul Scully in the position. He will become the sixth minister in charge of the white paper since the government began its review of gambling legislation in December 2020.

Andrew, who started working for the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) in September, hasn’t talked much about horse racing or gambling.

However, he was criticised for paying Paddy Power £1,961 to host England’s 2-0 victory over Germany at the most recent European Championships at Wembley Stadium in 2021.

There have been numerous delays in the government’s gambling reform proposals, which are expected to include details about their plans for the contentious issue of affordability checks.

The most recent occurred this month when, as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s reorganisation, Scully was transferred to a different department.

Leadership in the racing and gambling industries, where he had been willing to listen to their concerns, saw his departure as a blow.

As part of the most recent reshuffle, the former culture secretary Michelle Donelan also left the DCMS to be replaced by Lucy Frazer, whose South East Cambridgeshire constituency includes the July course at Newmarket and the National Stud.

The DCMS has yet to officially confirm Andrew’s appointment, but it would allow the publication process for the white paper to resume, with officials hoping it will be available before the Easter break at the end of March.

A statutory levy on operators to fund research, education, and treatment of problem gambling, advertising and sponsorship by gambling companies, and lower stakes for online slot games to mirror those found in brick-and-mortar establishments are expected to be covered in the white paper in addition to affordability checks.

 

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