So far, 2022 has been a tough year for politics all around the world. The latest political drama that unfolded in the UK, as Boris Johnson resigned from his position as Prime Minister, is rattling the country – poker industry included.
Now, many poker players ask themselves: how will Johnson's resignation affect poker in the country? In this Everygame poker news report, we're going to delve into this issue. But to sum things up, it seems as if live and online poker aren't to be affected. But either way, changes to UK gambling laws will be delayed due to the political unrest.
Wait. What does that really mean? Which modifications were the laws supposed to undergo? And what does the future hold for poker in Britain? Let's find out more about how gambling is about to be affected in the European country.
Current Laws & Proposed Changes
UK gambling laws were last updated in 2005, but many politicians believed that the law overlooked some major issues. That is why efforts to overhaul and modify the UK's 2005 Gambling Act began in 2020.
The goal was to reduce problem gambling rates in the UK by requiring players to prove they are able to afford to play and place bets in the first place.
In addition to that, the new laws were supposed to set a £2-£5 stakes limit, as at this moment in time, the law doesn't limit betting on online casino games.
While no official statement has been released, experts believe that the government excluded poker from the new laws. Instead, the new laws were said to focus on sports betting and casino gaming.
How it All Started - and Ended
The idea was to update the law so it would fit the digital age, but before things could move forward, the government had to collect data and review the industry. The government had to gather information from industry insiders, special advisors, operators, and players to offer an updated version of the Gambling Act.
However, the pandemic and disputes at the high levels of government stopped this initiative from moving forward for a long time. Two years later, in early 2022, an anonymous source informed the media that new and upgraded gambling laws were supposed to be published this year.
But alas! Chris Philp, the minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, stepped down from his position, following other politicians who did the same. Philp tweeted: "… the PM should step down given public and Parliamentary confidence has clearly gone, and given the importance of integrity in public life. I’m therefore stepping down…"
Following the mass resignations, PM Johnson decided to resign as well. That means that at the moment, there is no one at the helm of the ship.
Therefore, nobody is able to take charge of this important project. It seems as if changes to the UK gambling laws will have to wait for a new government to come together. But nothing is set in stone yet, as there is no guarantee the next minister for Tech will deem this issue important enough to address it sooner rather than later.
The Future of Poker Has Yet to be Determined
While there is no indication that poker players will be somehow affected by the proposed changes to gambling laws, there is no knowing what the future really holds for online gambling in the UK until the elections.