Join date: May 19, 2022


Ministers do not however favour a transfer of primary responsibility from DCMS to DHSC. Such a transfer might have a symbolic value, but we agree that it would not alter the fact that at least the nine departments we have listed in Box 2 would continue to have their individual responsibilities in relation to gambling There is also a risk that DHSC, already a large department with multiple responsibilities, might not be able to give gambling policy the overall attention it deserves. We think that DCMS is well placed to continue to coordinate the law and policy governing gambling and the fight against gambling-related harms, and we do not recommend a change.

We believe that, despite the symbolic value of a transfer of primary responsibility for gambling from DCMS to DHSC, there would not be any practical benefit from such a transfer, and there might be disadvantages. DCMS should continue to be the department with primary responsibility. 294. DCMS, like the Gambling Commission, has seldom been proactive, and sometimes has been more obstructive than reactive, as in the case of lowering the maximum stake of FOBTs, where it was supported by the Treasury. The failure to take action on a mandatory levy, which we discuss in Chapter 8,335 is another example.

A decision to undertake a major review of gambling and of the gambling industry came about only because, with a general election looming, political parties were driven to give undertakings to do something which would satisfy electors. The election is now six months behind us, but nothing has happened and no dates have been set. We expect DCMS, as the owner of the policy for gambling, to take this forward with some urgency. This report, the evidence on which it is based, and the recommendations we make, should make for a solid foundation.

Markus Weber

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