Future of DCMS in doubt following Tory election victory

17 December 2019

Gambling regulation in the UK could be set for changes with the likely overhaul of government departments in the coming months.

The oversight of gambling currently falls within the remit of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). However, the future of the DCMS is in doubt following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s election victory last week.

Rumours are circulating in the media that Cabinet could be trimmed down and departments merged when the UK almost certainly leaves the European Union in January next year.

Nicky Morgan (pictured), who was Culture Secretary prior to the General Election, will continue in the same post for now despite no longer being an MP. She will become a Life Peer and sit in the House of Lords to retain the post, although it is thought that will be a short-term measure until a likely major Cabinet reshuffle following Brexit in early 2020.

It is though Helen Whately, who was re-elected in Faversham and Mid Kent, will continue as the minister whose portfolio includes gambling having been appointed to the role of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism as recently as September.

In its election manifesto, the Conservative government vowed to undertake a full review of the 2005 Gambling Act. It described the legislation as "an analogue law in a digital age" and promised a particular focus on loot box regulation and new controls on credit card use.

Since taking office in 2010, the Conservative government has appointed eight different Culture Secretaries, with Maria Miller serving as the department’s longest leader between 2012-14.