The past year has been quite a tumultuous one when it comes to UK politics: first, Boris Johnson resigned from his position as Prime Minister, only to be replaced by Liz Truss of the Conservative Party. 50 short days later, the latter also resigned from her position when Rishi Sunak stepped into the plate.
All of these changes in the UK government have left local poker players questioning the future of the country’s gambling industry. Important gambling reforms have been discussed for years, but due to constant leadership changes, nothing has come of it.
Now locals are wondering if the future of online poker is at risk, or if they might be able to continue a game of poker wins for years to come. Let’s take a look at the current political map to try and predict what changes lie ahead for the UK gambling industry!
How gambling laws might change under Sunak’s leadership
Rishi Sunak, born in the United Kingdom in 1980, has been involved in politics since 2015 when he became a Member of Parliament. He later assumed the roles of Chief Secretary to the Treasury (2019-2020) and Minister of Finance (2020-2022).
Following Johnson’s resignation, Sunak contested the Conservative Party leadership election, only to lose to Liz Truss. However, when the latter resigned as prime minister, Sunak was elected unopposed as party leader. On October 25, 2022, he was appointed Prime Minister and now the entire country is counting on him to lead them.
And while there are undoubtedly more pressing issues for the new prime minister to address, local poker players are hoping he can address the issue soon enough.
A quick reminder: the proposed gambling reforms aimed to reduce problem gambling among youth while allowing a maximum bet of £5 for online casinos, among other things. In addition, the new laws were to give the Gambling Commission new powers and additional funding, etc.
However, it seems Sunak was not happy with these changes in the past. According to news reports, while he was finance minister, he expressed concerns that the reforms might be too restrictive, which could harm the racing industry. It has been estimated that previously proposed reforms could cost the industry £60m a year, as stricter accessibility checks could seriously affect betting operations.
What does the future hold?
While it is not known how Sunak may react when the issue of gambling reforms may come up again, it is safe to assume that he will not agree with the current White Paper.
His previous comments on UK gambling suggest he may take a softer approach, although there’s no denying the fact that something has to change. Perhaps Sunak’s familiarity with poker can influence his way of thinking. According to an “old” article published by The sunthe ruling prime minister played poker while in business school.
Although the stakes were no higher than £20 and the games were purely recreational, UK poker players are hoping that Sunak can be more invested in the issue of the upcoming reforms than his predecessors. Who knows? Maybe in a little while things will start to clear up and local players will get answers to their pressing questions!