Bishop of St Albans asks about gambling levies

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question on tackling harms related to gambling during a debate on the Gambling Act 2005 on 9th February 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I declare my interests as a member of Peers for Gambling Reform. The British Medical Journal said:

“We do not allow tobacco companies to design tobacco control policies, yet the gambling industry, through the organisations it funds, shapes our responses to … harms”.

Does the Minister agree that the system of voluntary levies is part of the problem, because the industry is controlling the messaging, and that what we need are statutory, smart levies to give total independence to research, treatment and education if we are really to tackle gambling-related harms?

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con): The Government have always been clear that they will look at the case for alternative funding mechanisms if there is a funding gap. All options remain on the table, including a statutory levy such as the right reverend Prelate suggests. The Department for Health and Social Care is working to improve care and treatment pathways to support the 15 clinics that were committed to in the NHS long-term plan. NHS England has also worked with GambleAware to design effective treatment.


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