Rebecca Pow to oversee gambling industry following cabinet reshuffle

As part of last week’s Cabinet reshuffle following Boris Johnson’s appointment, it has been confirmed that MP for Taunton Deane Rebecca Pow will be tasked with overseeing both the horseracing and gambling sectors rather than sports minister Nigel Adams

Pow was re-appointed as the parliamentary under secretary of state for arts, heritage and tourism at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport however her role will now include responsibility for gambling and lotteries as well as horseracing.

Commenting on her re-appointment, Ms Pow stated: “I am absolutely delighted that the Prime Minister has re-appointed me as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for arts, heritage and tourism.

“All of these areas are important in the Brexit landscape.

“I am greatly looking forward to continuing in this role, though, as ever, representing the people of Taunton Deane will remain my top priority..” 

The new role will introduce Pow to the sector, as the DCMS is currently undergoing a transition period. Moving forward, Pow and the wider DCMS team will oversee the regulatory development, implementation and oversight of gambling laws formed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

The new parliamentary under secretary has previous exposure to the UK racing sector, with Taunton racecourse within her constituency. Celebrating her appointment, Taunton managing director Bob Young added: “Our local MP is invited with their family to the Christmas meeting every year.

“As long as she has been an MP she has been every year to our Christmas meeting and presented a prize. She is very pro-racing.”

Pow’s appointment does not mark the first time that racing and gambling has been separated from sports within the UK government, however. Back in David Cameron’s coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, overall responsibility for both horseracing and gambling was handed to the then-minister for tourism and heritage John Penrose while Sir Hugh Robertson – sports minister at the time – spent his time working on the 2012 Olympics.

Just last week, UK gambling saw its third ministerial leadership change in the last year, as Nigel Adams MP for Selby & Ainsty was selected as the new Minister of State for Digital & Sports.

Adams replaced Mims Davies who was appointed as UK Sports & Civic Society Minister last November, who was chosen as the replacement for Tracey Crouch following her resignation from the position following the government’s delay on implementing FOBTs £2 reductions.

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