Church Commissioners Written Answer: Gambling

On 29th November 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question on gambling:

Eddie Hughes (Walsall North): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to tackle problem gambling.

Dame Caroline Spelman: In 2017 the Church of England’s General Synod passed a unanimous motion calling on Government to reduce the stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals to £2.00. This is an issue on which bishops, most notably the Bishop of St Albans, have spoken frequently on and campaigned for.

The Church has therefore welcomed the Government’s announcement of the reduction in stakes, and the decision to implement the change in April 2019, as well as the increase in Remote Gaming Duty.

The Bishop of St Albans continues to spearhead the Church’s activity in this area and has recently raised in the House of Lords the high quantity of gambling advertisements, increases in child gambling, the voluntary levy paid by gambling firms, and the socio-economic cost to society of problem gambling.