On 14th December the Bishop of St Albans asked a question during exchanges on a statement about the Government’s Gambling Review:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: My Lords, it is true that we cannot cost the human hurt and pain, but the Statement praised the tax receipts and employment benefits that come from the gambling industry but did not mention any of the financial costs of gambling-related harms. Will the Minister assure the House that, as part of the evidence-based approach, the review will include research into the cost of gambling-related harms—for example, for the 14 clinics dealing with gambling addictions, the cost of trials and imprisonment, the cost of JSA claims and the terrible cost of suicides—to ascertain whether the gambling industry is really a net contributor to the Treasury, as the Government claim?
Baroness Barran (Con): The right reverend Prelate raises an important point. He will be aware that, next year, Public Health England will report on its evidence review into gambling-related harm. That will look at both financial and human aspects. The review being led by DCMS is looking specifically at ways of recouping the societal costs of gambling. Again, I urge the right reverend Prelate to share the evidence that he has on those costs in the broadest terms.