Philp Takes Gambling Role After Government Reshuffle

The UK Government has chosen Chris Philp to become the new gambling minister. Philp takes over the role at a crucial time with the current laws being reviewed. His appointment comes a week after the removal of John Whittingdale.

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Chris Philp Becomes Gambling Minister © Pixabay.

Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle has seen Chris Philp become the new gambling minister at a vital time for the industry.

This week, Philp became parliamentary undersecretary of state at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). He will now take the lead in the government’s review of the gambling act.

He replaces John Whittingdale, who was removed from the position last week in the government’s reshuffle. Whittingdale had been serving in the post as Minister of State for Media and Data at DCMS since the beginning of 2020.

However, it isn’t clear at this time what full Philp’s responsibilities as gambling minister will be as a description of his job’s roles and responsibilities have not been made public.

The 45-year-old was previously Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office and Ministry of Justice from 2020 to 2021. His previous roles include Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice and Minister for London at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

His previous roles in government are Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Immigration Compliance and Justice), Minister for London and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.

He also previously served as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to current Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

Philp’s early career was as an entrepreneur; he started his journey into politics in 2015.

The industry has generally reacted well to the appointment of Philp, even though the MP was involved in introducing a mandatory limit on fixed-odds betting terminals that was introduced in 2018. Before the limit, punters could spend £100 per spin, and the revenue from these machines often made up more than 50% of the revenue from high street bookmakers.

Michael Dugher, the Betting and Gaming Council CEO, expressed the view that he was looking forward to working with Philp in his new role and believed the two could work together to drive changes and ensure higher standards on safer gambling. He said:

“On behalf of the 119,000 people whose jobs are supported by BGC members, I welcome Chris Philp as the new minister responsible for gambling,” he said.

“He comes to the brief with an excellent reputation as a talented and extremely capable minister. “We have made excellent progress working towards the gambling review white paper, and we are sure that the government will not wish to lose momentum,” Dugher added.

However, it is possible that Philp’s conciliatory tone with the gambling industry might upset several of his own MP’s who are calling for drastic changes within the gambling industry.

More than 50 MPs and peers produced a report last year and called for the biggest shake-up of Britain’s gambling laws in more than a decade.

They called for a raft of measures, including:

  • A ban on gambling ads altogether, including TV, radio and online
  • An end to VIP schemes and the operators offering inducements to bet
  • A £2 stake limit on online slot machines, similar to the limits on fixed-odds terminals
  • Independent affordability checks to be performed
  • Controls on gambling game design to be introduced
  • A new ombudsman to resolve customer disputes on the industry

In an interview on Sky News in 2018, Philp’s discussed the proposed limit on fixed-odds betting terminals. You can watch that interview on Chris Phillp’s website.

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