Featured in this article:
  • Johnson's resignation means the UK is seeking a new prime ministers
  • Lobbyists say UK gambling reform cannot be permitted until a new leader is announced
  • Many European firms also have presence in America, but UK reform unlikely to impact US laws

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Boris Johnson's resignation as prime minister means UK Gambling Laws have been set back more months

The publication of gambling reform proposals that will transform the UK’s online casino industry have been set back for a fourth time – this time because there are concerns the government cannot progress with its suggestions.

The UK government has been seeking to rewrite its gambling legislation since 2019 but coronavirus, economic hardship and now a power vacuum at the top of Westminster means proposals won’t yet be made public.

A white paper on how to modernize British gambling laws – bringing it in line with countries such as the United States, Canada and most of Europe – is expected to be published this summer.

Yet it is almost certain to now be delayed until September, the date the Conservative party hope to elect a new prime minister.

UK Gambling Laws

The publication of a white paper concerning the UK’s gambling reform has been set back until September

What’s Happening In The UK?

The latest political turmoil in the UK is delaying rafts of legislation from being passed through Westminster. And this includes gambling reform.

The UK’s sector currently operates under the 2005 Gambling Act. But this has been deemed greatly insufficient in today’s online world, where scores of sports betting and casino sites flood the UK gambling market.

The UK Gambling Commission set up a consultation to hear the issues facing the industry and players. Changes like stopping the use of credit cards for deposit payments and restricting the maximum bet at games machines to £2 have already come into effect.

But there are much bigger proposals for gambling reform in the unpublished White Paper that could dramatically overhaul the industry.

Boris Johnson’s toppling as UK prime minister means there is now a two-month-long scramble to succeed him. Whoever does become the next PM will set out their own agenda – and many gambling firms and lobby groups say the white paper should be delayed until the new premier is installed.

The white paper was delayed for a third time in February thanks to the Johnson chaos.

“As with all other big decisions for government we should pause the white paper until we have a new PM and a new cabinet. Important policies impacting the lives of millions cannot be rushed through haphazardly,” said Jack Brereton, Tory MP for Stoke-on-Trent South.

“The government has a choice in the coming weeks. Whatever twists and turns come in the storyline of Britain’s political life, this crucial issue affecting millions, must never become a sideshow. Betting and gaming, its customers and all those who work in the industry deserve better.”

Could This Affect American Gambling?

The eventual publication and processing of the UK’s latest gambling reform laws are unlikely to have a direct affect on how America governs its industry. However, individual US states will be keeping an eye on what reforms are introduced, and whether they are beneficial for business and players.

And there is a potential financial impact to be felt in the US, too. Many European and British gambling firms also have a presence across the Atlantic. The profits generated from Europe have largely funded the expansion into the US markets, and if those profits begin to dry up post-reform, then that could feasibly impact on America’s online gambling landscape.

Yet there’s certainly no guarantee of this. The US industry is booming and its big players from Las Vegas and Atlantic City have already cornered a big chunk of the market. The Europeans may have joined the land grab, but it’s still very much a US-led industry, even if the online expertise is sourced from across the pond.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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