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The gambling industry will be eagerly awaiting a cabinet reshuffle after news broke in the early hours of the morning that Shadow Culture Secretary, Thangam Debbonaire, had been defeated in Bristol.

It was one of only a few disappointments for Keir Starmer’s Labour Party as the country largely lit up red and prepared to welcome a new government. Starmer will have to appoint a new Culture Secretary, however.

Debbonaire lost her seat to the Green Party co-leader, Carla Denyer, after the Greens targeted the seat as a key focus during its election campaign. 

Nonetheless, ending 14 years of Conservative rule and sweeping home a significant majority, whoever Starmer appoints as head of the DCMS will have a key opportunity to govern over the department with authority over Britain’s betting and gaming industry.

On the other hand, Stephanie Peacock, who is the Shadow Minister for Sport, Gambling and Media, held her Barnsley South seat, adding to a hugely successful campaign for the Labour Party. 

Just before the election was called, DCMS provided the industry with positive news as after much lobbying, it published plans for certain casinos to increase the number of gaming machines they offer to 80 and for smaller casinos to more than 20; allowing a 2:1 ratio of Category B to Category C and D gaming machines in arcades and bingo halls.

This was amongst a raft of new measures that were welcomed with open arms by the land-based industry. However, the implementation of these reforms remains to be seen as the UK prepares for a new era of government. 

The plans were lauded by the industry, with BGC CEO Michael Dugher stating that cashless payments, additional gaming machines and sports betting inside casinos will help the industry meet the needs of customers.

Dugher noted: “Casinos are a vital pillar of the UK’s leisure, hospitality and tourism sector and we welcome the Government’s consultation response which is positive progress on the modest, long-overdue but mission critical modernisation reforms needed for the land-based casino sector to compete and thrive.

“Casinos currently employ more than 10,000 people, contribute £300m annually in tax and generate an estimated £800m a year to the UK economy.

“Much needed reforms on cashless payments, gaming machine allocations and allowing all casinos to offer sports betting will strengthen the sector to better meet the needs and expectations of their customers.”

After weeks of campaigning and legislative issues dissolving into something of an afterthought, the industry will likely be elated to finally welcome a stable cabinet into office, in the hope that a timeline is brought forward for regulatory changes.

Industry is still awaiting the full adoption of the Gambling Act review White Paper’s reforms, one year after initial publication. It seems Labour shares the Conservative’s views on the matter, whether or not the changes will be treated as a priority is anyone’s guess.