In the United Kingdom, this week’s cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Theresa May has reportedly resulted in West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock (pictured) being appointed to lead the influential Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
According to a report from the Press Gazette newspaper, 39-year-old Hancock previously served as the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries but was named as the replacement for Karen Bradley on Monday after his fellow Conservative MP was promoted to the post of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Hancock has represented the area around the Suffolk town of Haverhill since the General Election of 2010 with SBC News explaining that the remit of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport includes ensuring that any new gambling laws regulated by the Gambling Commission are thoroughly implemented.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is additionally reportedly responsible for conducting a review into the government’s plan that could see the nation’s array of some 33,611 fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) have their maximum stake of £100 ($135) reduced to an amount of between £2 ($2.70) and £50 ($67.56).
Known to be a fan of horseracing, Hancock’s constituency includes the historic Newmarket Racecourse with SBC News reporting that the father-of-three has used Parliamentary debates to vociferously support the industry. He was reportedly moreover a key backer of last year’s reforms to the Horserace Betting Levy that lowered a number of the sport’s administrative costs.
“We welcome his appointment,” Paul Darling, Chairman for the Association of British Bookmakers, reportedly told the Racing Post newspaper. “He has a full understanding of the industry and its dynamics and we look forward to working with him.”