Standards body the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has congratulated Lucy Powell on her appointment as Labour’s new Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The Manchester Central MP, who was previously Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, was given the new role as Labour leader Keir Starmer carried out a frontbench reshuffle.
She replaces Jo Stevens, who is the new Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, also welcomed Alex Davies-Jones on her appointment as Shadow Gambling Minister, where she replaces Alex Sobel. Alex Davies-Jones was previously a member of the DCMS Select Committee.
He said he looked forward to working with both Ms Powell and Ms Davies-Jones as the Government continues its Gambling Review and prepares to publish its white paper in the coming months.
Mr Dugher said: “On behalf of our members, who between them support 119,000 jobs, generate £4.5bn in tax and contribute £7.7bn to the economy in gross value added, I’d like to congratulate Lucy and Alex on their appointments.
“I know how incredibly talented both of them are and they are taking on big jobs at a really important time, as we await the publication of the Gambling white paper.
“As the standards body representing the regulated betting and gaming industry, the BGC strongly supports the Gambling Review as an opportunity to make more big changes and to further drive higher standards in safer gambling.
“According to the Gambling Commission, problem gambling rates have fallen from 0.6 per cent to 0.3 per cent in the past year, which suggests the work we have done since being established two years ago is having an impact.
“But one problem gambler is one too many, and I look forward to working with Lucy and Alex as we seek to strike the right balance between focusing in to better protect problem gamblers and those at risk, whilst at the same time ensuring that the millions of people who enjoy a flutter perfectly safely are able to do so without changes that might drive them to the unsafe, unregulated black market online.
“Our members play a vital role in supporting hard-pressed high streets through modern betting shops, as well as the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors through casinos and bingo, and our world-leading British tech companies are employing thousands of people in good jobs in online betting and gaming. We want to play our part in continuing to support the economy and the public finances, as well as ensuring that our industry can continue to support sport and broadcasting.
“I would like to thank Jo Stevens and Alex Sobel for all their positive engagement with BGC members in the past, in particular for the support they gave the land-based sector that faced such difficult challenges being closed down during the Covid lockdowns”.