On 9th October the Bishop of St Albans asked a question in the House of Lords in response to the Government’s announcement of its comprehensive review of the Gambling Act and call for evidence:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]:
My Lords, I am disappointed that significant parts of this statement read as if they were written by the gambling industry.
They pointedly ignore the facts with which we began the Select Committee report: there are nearly 400,000 problem gamblers, plus 60,000 teenage gamblers, materially affecting the lives of 2 million people.
Just last night, I spent an hour with yet another family who had lost their 25 year-old son to gambling. As most of the recommendations in the Select Committee report do not require legislation, why will Her Majesty’s Government not implement them now to save lives? Why will they not make this a public health issue?
Baroness Barran (Con): I am genuinely surprised and disappointed that the right reverend Prelate reads the response in that light, because we felt that the report of the committee on which he sat was extremely helpful and constructive, and it has informed much of our thinking. There is no way that we are waiting for the outcome of the review to make gambling safer, and we have announced significant progress in the last 12 months, in particular the ban on gambling with credit cards.