Change will come …. eventually

In his ‘Licensing Expert’ article for SBC News ‘Change will come …. eventually’ (that you can download below) published today, David Clifton looks back over the drama of recent weeks’ events that have led well-informed sources to report that publication of the long-awaited Gambling Act Review White Paper looks set to be further delayed until after a new Prime Minister takes over the baton from Boris Johnson, presently anticipated to be on 5 September.

On our website posting entitled ‘Gambling Act Review White Paper – when, what, who, where and why?’, you can read more about the series of events that occurred between 7 and 15 July, leading up to those reports of yet further delay, publication of the White Paper having originally been intended to occur last year.

Given the likelihood of such a delay and the recent admission by the Gambling Commission’s CEO, Andrew Rhodes, that it has agreed with DCMS that “the issues around affordability checks are something for the White Paper, David’s article also focuses on the urgent need for considerably greater clarity from the Commission in relation to its precise expectations of UK licensed gambling operators (both remote and land-based) in this respect. Operators undergoing the present round of UKGC compliance assessments would certainly welcome that clarity..

As matters stand, it remains to be seen whether the White Paper sees the light of day before September (which in reality would be before Parliament rises for the summer recess on 21 July), the Government having published yesterday (17 July 2022) its even longer awaited ‘Response to the call for evidence on loot boxes in video games’, confirming that it “does not intend to amend or extend the scope of gambling regulation to cover loot boxes at this time” and adding that:

The government’s response to the call for evidence on loot boxes has been developed alongside its Review of the Gambling Act 2005. A White Paper setting out the conclusions from the Review and vision for the gambling sector will be published as soon as possible.

David’s article concludes with a musical nod in the direction of the White Paper: “What seems certain is that, in whatever form and whenever it arrives, to quote the late great Sam Cooke from nearly 60 years ago, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’.”