Whittingdale handles lotteries and gambling at DCMS | Regulation

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John Whittingdale, media and data minister at the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), has taken over the lottery and gaming dossier from Nigel Huddleston, meaning he will now oversee the revision of the law on games.

Whittingdale (pictured) adds lotteries and gambling to a list of other responsibilities including media, European and international strategy, including approach to future trade deals, comprehensive approach to trade union policy issues, national data and archives, and public appointments, among others.

John whittingdale

The minister has been a Member of Parliament for Maldon since 1992, chaired the Culture, Media and Sports Committee from 2005 to 2015 and was Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport between May 2015 and July 2016.

Whittingdale became Minister of State for Media and Data in February 2020. His parliamentary record shows that he voted against giving local councils the power to limit the number of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) and paris stores in their districts in 2014.

He also voted in parliament to increase wagering and prize limits for certain categories of slot machines, and in 2013 voted not to require gaming operators to ban players who had signed up for auto- exclusion.

Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) Managing Director Michael Dugher congratulated Whittingdale on his new appointment, saying: “I would like to welcome John Whittingdale to his expanded role and increased responsibilities at DCMS.

“I have known John well since my time in Parliament and in the music industry. John commands immense respect and is a formidable politician who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge. The BGC represents most of the regulated industry – street betting shops, casinos, online gaming and bingo – and we look forward to working with them.

Dugher stressed that it is uncertain times for those working in the industry and said the industry wants to play its part to help revive the UK economy, support jobs and growth and contribute to the public purse .

He described the government’s gambling review as a “golden opportunity” to build on the work being done to raise standards, promote safer gambling and drive change in the industry.

Dugher also paid tribute to Nigel Huddlestone, who he said did a “superb job under difficult circumstances”.

The DCMS officially launched the long-awaited review of the 2005 Gaming Law in December of last year, with wagering limits, the role of the Gambling Commission, and new advertising restrictions to consider. With his new ministerial brief, Whittingdale will now be responsible for this review.

The department called for evidence at that time, looking at wagering and spending limits, new rules regarding advertising and bonuses, and as additional protections for young adults. The call for contributions will run until March 31, 2021, and its conclusions will inform the planned changes to the 2005 law.


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