Chris Philp named as UK’s gambling minister following cabinet reshuffle

Chris Philp has been named as the UK’s gambling minister following last week’s Cabinet reshuffle.

This comes after former Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Oliver Dowden, was replaced by Nadine Dorries last week.

Philp’s new appointment

Last week, Philp was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DCMS.

Philp’s appointment was confirmed yesterday following comments he made in his new role relating to the DCMS’s independent report into the regulation of BetIndex and the collapse of Football Index.

The report found that the Gambling Commission was too slow in its regulation of Football Index and was unaware that the operator offered a product it may not have been licensed to for more than three years.

A DCMS spokesperson has confirmed that Philp will replace John Whittingdale in overseeing the UK gambling industry. Whittingdale was removed from his post last week.

Philp’s full title and responsibilities have yet to be finalsied but he will oversee the government’s gambling brief as well as the Gambling Act review.

Who is Philp?

Philp has been the MP for Croydon South since 2015 and has held junior roles at the Home Office and Ministry of Justice. Between 2019 and 2020, the MP was also Minister for London at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

The MP was also the Conservative Party Vice Chairman for Policy from 2018 to 2019 and has twice served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to current Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

As a backbench MP, Philp campaigned for stricter regulation of fixed-odds betting terminals prior to the 2018 decision to cut the maximum stake allowed on the machines. This is a drastic change from Whittingdale who had previously led a committee that proposed the expansion of those machines.

BGC welcomes appointment

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has since welcomed Philp to his new position with the BGC’s chief executive Michael Dugher saying he is prepared to work with Philp.

Dugher said: “On behalf of the 119,000 people whose jobs are supported by BGC members, I welcome Chris Philp as the new minister responsible for gambling. He comes to the brief with an excellent reputation as a talented and extremely capable minister.

“We have made excellent progress working towards the Gambling Review white paper and we are sure that the Government will not wish to lose momentum

“BGC members generate £4.5bn in taxes to help pay for our public services and contribute £7.7bn to the economy in gross value added, so it’s vitally important that the Government continues with the evidence-led approach it has taken to the Review until now.

“I look forward to working with Chris in the months ahead as the BGC continues to drive big changes and higher standards on safer gambling, ensuring we get the balance right between protecting the vulnerable while ensuring that the millions who enjoy a flutter safely and responsibly have the freedom to do so.”