May 23, 2024 3 min read


July Election Announced by PM Sunak Delays Gambling Reform

The future of the UK gambling reform has been put under a big question mark following Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s fresh surprise announcement regarding a July 4 election

On May 22, the UK’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, made a surprise announcement regarding an unexpected election scheduled for July 4.

The news came at a time when the UK was fully involved in the implementation of several gambling reforms featured in the April 2023 white paper, triggering several questions regarding the future of the reform. 

Not Enough Time to Complete the Reform Agenda

The election that will take place in six weeks is expected to considerably disrupt the completion of the reform agenda as initially scheduled.

Since the Labour Party is in the lead in front of Sunak’s Conservatives with a 41% to 20% score as per the Britain Elects general election poll aggregator, most people expect them to form the next Government.

This would automatically lead to a government under the leadership of Kier Starmer to supervise the final steps of the gambling reform.  

While the Labour Party has announced its commitment to supporting the reform all the way, some industry voices believe the government might support tighter regulations at the margins.

Uncertainty could become a keyword for reform measures that would require primary legislation.

According to safer gambling supporter Matt Zarb-Cousin “a lot of the reforms that require legislating will be put on hold — such as the land-based reforms and online slot stake limits.”

Nonetheless, he added that he does not see any “reason why they won’t be implemented following the handover after 4 July.”

New Laws Enacting Gambling Reforms, “Unlikely” to Make the Cut

According to Partner at Northridge Law Melanie Ellis in an interview for, Friday’s deadline for the government to introduce “any remaining pieces of legislation to Parliament” will make it almost impossible for “new laws to enact planned gambling reforms” to “make the cut.”

Ellis explained that the fact that these pieces of legislation were not part of the King’s Speech would make them less likely to go through. 

She further added that secondary legislation would be needed for the implementation of slots stake limits in case they are given the green light in September, as originally planned.

The September date could be postponed, believes Ellis, in case the legislation fails to make “the Government’s priority list in the wash-up period.”

The new regulations might, however, be regarded as “an easy win by the new government,” added Ellis, who also mentioned the rising number of gaming machines that, in her view, “is unlikely to be a priority for the new Government.”

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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