Following the latest departmental shakeup at Whitehall, Stuart Andrew MP is expected to be named the latest Minister in charge of the Gambling Act review according to the Racing Post.
The MP for Pudsey, West Yorkshire, will allegedly be confirmed by the government as the ministerial steward overseeing the UK Gambling Review and the imminent publishing of its White Paper of recommendations.
Andrew has worked at the DCMS since September as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society, – if RP sources are correct, he will become the sixth Minister to take charge of the review.
In the 26 months since the review began in December 2020, it has been overseen by Parliamentary-Under Secretaries Nigel Huddleston, John Whittingdale, Chris Philp, Damian Collins and Paul Scully.
Additionally, there have also been four DCMS Secretaries since the review began – Oliver Dowden, Nadine Dorries, Michelle Donelan and Lucy Frazer – bringing the total number of Minister’s with oversight over the review to 10 in just over two years.
This means there have been more MPs in charge of the review than Manchester City have won League Cup titles and just one less than the number of guitarists who played with The Fall during the Prestwich post-punk band’s 42 year career.
Andrew has been an MP since 2010, and assumed his first junior Ministerial position under Prime Minister Theresa May, serving as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales.
He would later work as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement during May’s premiership, before becoming Vice-Chamberlain of the Household under Boris Johnson.
During Johnson’s administration he held three more positions – Minister of State for Housing, Government Deputy Chief Whip Treasurer of the Household and Minister of State for Prisons and Probation.
He was then appointed to his current position, the aforementioned DCMS Parliamentary-Underscretary role, in September under then-new PM Rishi Sunak, the third political leader the UK has had since the Gambling Act review began.
The Racing Post noted that Andrew has not expressed many opinions on gambling in the past. However, he did accept hospitality for England’s 2-0 win over Germany during the UEFA 2020 Euros from Power Leisure Bookmakers, valued at £1,960.
This pales in comparison to some other MPs, however – for example, his fellow West Yorkshire parliamentarian Philip Davies declared £49,000 in earnings from GVC Holdings (now Entain) as well as thousands more in gifts and donations form Entain, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), Flutter Entertainment and Gamesys.
Reports of his appointment come after yet another delay to the Gambling Act review after Lucy Frazer assumed DCMS leadership, and as Sunak faces a major political distraction from the White Paper in the form of Northern Ireland post-Brexit arrangements and the renegotiation of NI protocol terms with the European Union.
The UK gambling sector awaits to see whether the government will publish the White Paper in February, as pledged by former DCMS undersecretary Paul Scully.