Gambling reform following the Gambling Commission’s White Paper will fall under new scrutiny after Labour’s landslide victory in the general election.

Sir Keir Starmer will become the first Labour Prime Minister since 2010 after his party secured a mammoth majority over Rishi Sunak and the outgoing Conservative party.

A flurry of Conservative cabinet ministers lost their seats in the elections including Jacob Rees-Mogg, Jonny Mercer and Penny Mordaunt.

Michelle Donelan, the culture secretary when the Gambling Act review was released last year, also lost out in her new seat of Melksham and Devizes. 

The new politicians set to be in charge of gambling policy in the UK will be confirmed at a later date, however, one of those who won’t be in charge is Thangam Debbonaire.

Debbonaire, the former Shadow Culture Secretary, will not be in place to lead the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) after she lost out in Bristol Central to the Green Party Co-Leader, Carla Denyer.

In better news for Labour, Stephanie Peacock, the Shadow Gambling Minister under the Conservatives, held onto her seat in Barnsley South.

What next for the gambling industry?

There are fears within the gaming industry that there will be a delay in the rollout of the Gambling Act review’s reforms due to Labour’s victory.

Given Debbonaire’s defeat, there is no natural successor to the role of Culture Secretary which means that Starmer is faced with a decision over how to split the gambling brief between the gambling minister and the new culture secretary. 

Just ahead of the announcement of the General Election, a range of land-based reforms were announced, including a new 2:1 ratio of Category B to Category C and D gaming machines in bingo halls and arcades, and lifting the prohibition of debit card payments for machines. 

Other government-led proposals, such as a statutory levy on operators to fund gambling fund gambling harm research, education and prevention, have also been put into some doubt.

What does the result mean for British Horse Racing?

Horse Racing is one of the sports that has been impacted by the Gambling Commission’s review. Pilot schemes are currently running for affordability checks on horse racing punters. 

With the change of leadership, industry experts within horse racing have said that the sport needs to “find some new friends” in the new Labour Government for the good of the sport going forward.

The Racing Post’s Industry Editor, Bill Barber, told the Front Page Show that Labour has been “broadly supportive” of measures proposed in the Gambling Commission’s white paper and suggests they will allow the process of implementing affordability checks to go through. 

A job for the new DCMS leader is to lead talks between bookmakers and British horse racing over the sports levy reform and there are fears that talks could go back to the start with the change of government.

Gambling reform under scrutiny following Labour’s landslide victory