On the 3rd April 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, received two written answers on the impact of gambling on children:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the position paper published by the Gambling Commission in March concerning online gambling using virtual in-game currencies, whether they will take further steps to protect children from being exposed to such gambling. [HL6429]
Lord Ashton of Hyde: Where online gambling using virtual in-game currencies is offered to British consumers located in Britain, a Gambling Commission license is required and licensing requirements to protect children and the vulnerable must be met including measures to prevent underage gambling.
The Gambling Commission has a range of enforcement powers available. In February 2017, following a prosecution brought by the Gambling Commission, two Directors of Game Gold Tradings Limited, a company which operated as FutGalaxy.com (an unlicensed gambling website) entered guilty pleas to offences under the Gambling Act 2005.
The Government keeps this issue under review will not hesitate to take action if it is needed to protect young people from gambling-related harm.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the position paper by the Gambling Commission published in March drawing attention to the risk of users of social casino games transitioning to real money gambling, whether they will take steps to restrict children’s access to social casino games. [HL6430]
Lord Ashton of Hyde: Social gaming is already covered by existing consumer protection legislation and other regulatory bodies. Evidence of the transition from social games to real money gambling is limited, however the Gambling Commission continue to monitor participation in social casino games. The Gambling Commission position paper, published in March 2017, concluded that there is not a persuasive case to pursue further regulatory intervention in social gaming.
The Government expects the social casino industry to adopt a socially responsible approach and awareness of potential harm.
Government will not hesitate to take action if it is needed to protect young people from gambling-related harm.