The UK government has confirmed that Eastleigh MP Miriam ‘Mims’ Davies will join the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sports (DCMS) as new UK Sports Minister replacing Tracey Crouch.
Crouch, who had served as UK Sports Minister since 2015, resigned last week in protest of the government’s ‘delayed’ FOBTs £2 wagering reduction, which had been confirmed for October 2019 following the publication of the UK’s 2018 Budget.
Davies is promoted to DCMS from her current position as Junior Wales Office Minister and will be charged with overseeing the UK government’s relationship with the betting/gambling industry, as well sporting organisations and UK charities.
The MP Eastleigh Wales since 2015, Davies has previously worked as a communications executive for the BBC, AA and national police force.
Cross-party pressure continues to mount on the UK government to move its FOBTs reduction forward for 2019.
This week, Chancellor Phillip Hammond and the UK Treasury were accused of ‘prioritising betting jobs before concerns for vulnerable UK citizens‘ by sticking to its October 2019 FOBTs cut.
Supporting the Treasury, Phillip Hammond maintains that the government’s FOBTs decision does not constitute a delay as the original wagering reduction was set to be implemented on April 2020.
Furthermore, the Chancellor outlines that a transition period is needed for the UK betting industry to adjust to new business conditions which could lead to 15-20,000 UK jobs being lost.
“I have absolutely no love for these machines,” said Hammond. “I think they are terrible things. But Government has to manage this process in an orderly and sensible way. We are looking at a measure which will have a very significant impact on the industry.”