Home » UK Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew resigns ahead of summer general election | Yogonet International

UK Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew resigns ahead of summer general election | Yogonet International

Gambling minister Stuart Andrew has resigned from his position as a member of parliament following the announcement of a snap general election set for July 4. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made the election announcement last week, prompting Andrew to take to social media platform X – formerly known as Twitter – on Wednesday to confirm his departure.

“As of midnight tonight, parliament will dissolve and there will be no members of parliament until after the general election,” Andrew wrote. “As the constituency of Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough will no longer exist at this point, I am no longer a member of parliament. All the very best for the future to all of my former constituents.”

Andrew, who has served as the Conservative MP for Pudsey, was also parliamentary under secretary of state for sport, gambling and civil society, and the minister for equalities. He was appointed as gambling minister in March 2023, just one month before the release of the long-awaited Gambling Act review white paper.

Andrew’s resignation and the dissolution of parliament leave the role of gambling minister vacant at a crucial time for the UK gambling industry. However, with the implementation of the Gambling Act review already underway, significant progress is expected to continue despite the absence of a dedicated minister.

In recent weeks, the GB Gambling Commission and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have advanced various policies outlined in the white paper. Key proposals include affordability checks, online games design regulations, enhanced consumer choice in direct marketing, and improved age verification for land-based operations.

A major focus has been the Commission’s upcoming pilot for affordability checks, which will last for six months. The Commission has assured that customers will not be impacted by the trial, pending seamless data-sharing processes.

In addition to the pilot, “light-touch” financial vulnerability checks will be implemented in two stages – initially in August 2024 and subsequently in February 2025. Other policies, including the banning of certain game features and stricter age verification rules for land-based operations, are set to be enforced by January 2025.

Meanwhile, DCMS has announced new land-based rules stemming from the white paper, set to be implemented following the ‘Smarter Regulation to Grow the Economy’ policy document released in May 2023. These rules include abolishing the ban on using debit cards on gaming machines and introducing a new 2:1 ratio of Category B to Category C and D gaming machines in bingo halls and arcades.

Despite Andrew’s resignation, the UK gambling reforms are expected to proceed, albeit under the shadow of potential political changes following the election. The industry remains cautious, particularly given the possibility of a shift in governance that could impact the ongoing reform process.

Andrew’s departure highlights the ongoing uncertainty within the UK political landscape, especially with Labour Party leader Keir Starmer positioned as a strong contender against Sunak. This political volatility raises concerns among industry stakeholders about the future direction of gambling regulations.

Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock has announced her intention to stand for re-election as Labour’s shadow minister for sport, gambling, and media, further indicating potential shifts in the UK’s gambling policy landscape post-election.