Stuart Andrew to become latest UK gambling minister
Stuart Andrew is set to become the sixth UK gambling minister since 2020, responsible for delivering the government's white paper on gambling reform.
The UK government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is set to welcome its sixth minister to hold the gambling brief since 2020. Stuart Andrew MP, Conservative MP for Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough in West Yorkshire, is expected to be confirmed as the latest minister to take on the position, succeeding Paul Scully, who recently moved to the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) in a recent government restructuring.
Despite not having previously expressed much interest in the gambling sector, Andrew will be responsible for delivering the government's gambling white paper. The paper is expected to propose affordability checks and stake limits for online slots, while a statutory levy on operators to fund problem gambling research and treatment is believed to be off the cards. Gambling sponsorship restrictions are also not expected, with the government leaning towards voluntary action from the Premier League.
Andrew's previous roles in government include parliamentary under-secretary of state for Wales under the then prime minister Theresa May, under-secretary for defence procurement, vice-chamberlain of the household, minister of state for housing, treasurer of the household and minister of state for prisons and probation, all under Boris Johnson. He finally joined the DCMS in September 2022 as parliamentary under-secretary of state for sport, tourism, heritage and civil society.
The appointment of Stuart Andrew as the latest UK gambling minister is set to impact the UK gambling industry and the ongoing review of gambling legislation. Andrew takes on the position as the UK government prepares to publish its white paper on gambling reform. The white paper is expected to propose a number of changes to the gambling industry, including affordability checks and stake limits for online slots. It is believed that the paper will not include a statutory levy on operators to fund problem gambling research and treatment, but instead encourage voluntary contributions.
The ongoing review of the 2005 Gambling Act has passed through the hands of Nigel Huddleston, John Whittingdale, Chris Philp, Damian Collins and most recently, Paul Scully. The DCMS has also undergone four changes in leadership, with Oliver Dowden, Nadine Dorries, Michelle Donelan and Lucy Frazer all having held the position. Scully previously stated that the white paper would be published "in a few weeks", but with Andrew now taking on the position, there will be a sense of urgency to deliver the paper before Easter.
The appointment of Stuart Andrew is expected to bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the table, as he is not seen as a typical choice for the gambling brief. Nevertheless, the industry will be keenly watching his performance and decisions on the gambling white paper, which is seen as a crucial moment for the sector. The UK gambling industry is worth billions of pounds and is a significant source of revenue for the UK government, but also a significant source of problem gambling, which the government is keen to address with its forthcoming white paper.