Bishop of St Albans asks a question on children addicted to gambling

The Bishop of St Albans asked the following question during a debate on the Gambling white paper on 20th July 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I declare my interest as a vice-president of Peers for Gambling Reform. We should be shocked at the statistics that the noble Lord, Lord Foster, gave—60,000 young people not just gambling but addicted to gambling.

How many children who should not be gambling at all are caught up in this? This is damaging lives and families every day of the year. Surely we need to take some firm action, such as addressing this ubiquitous advertising on sports occasions which is normalising gambling instead of encouraging people simply to participate and enjoy sport for its own sake. When will the Government take some action on this?

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con): The right reverend Prelate is right to point to the need for better data. We welcome and encourage work to build the high-quality evidence base which is needed to inform policy. As he knows, that is an area we looked at through the review, as is the question of advertising. We have considered the evidence on that carefully, including the different risks of harms associated with certain sports and on children. We will set out our conclusions in the White Paper.


Extracts from the speeches that followed:

Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate (Con): My Lords, the right reverend Prelate is quite correct in what he says, and I support fully his remarks. I had responsibility in the Home Office in the 1990s for gambling and the Government at that time were extremely cautious about allowing the development of gambling, particularly its effect on young people. I remain deeply concerned about what is actually being talked about. 

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