John Penrose, who left the department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), after following his boss, the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt whom was replaced by Maria Miller, the former work and pensions minister, will not be replaced himself in the department.
Penrose who was responsible for the gambling sector along with his other duties will have his portfolio split between to junior ministers, which one will have their responsibility for gambling is not known.
Hugh Robertson, minister for sport and Ed Vaizey minister for culture are the two which will take over Mr Penroses responsibilities for the gambling sector within the DCMS remit.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) confirmed this morning that Penrose will not be replaced
A spokeswoman said: “The DCMS had three junior ministers, now there are two. John Penrose’s portfolio will be given to the two.”
Now his role will be divided between DCMS junior ministers Robertson, MP for Faversham and Mid-Kent, and Vaizey, MP for Wantage.
Vaizey is the more high-profile, responsible for arts, the media, broadband access and telecommunications. However, sports minister Robertson appears more likely to inherit thegambling sector brief alongside the government’s ‘Olympic legacy’ initiative.
The DCMS said no decision had been made. The spokeswoman said: “The decision is being worked on today.”
Whatever the outcome on whom will take over the portfolio for the gambling sector, it seems that Government has no real interest or focus on doing anything with the sector. Expect little or no good news for the industry, however with two major UK newspapers attacking land based bookmakers FOBTs, it seems the industry can only expect more of the same until such time as the Government act.
The gambling industry is not a vote winner for the Conservatives and until such time as the industry has a real voice and shows how important the sector is for jobs then nothing positive for the industry will happen.