Bishop of St Albans asks about suicides linked to gambling

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 16th March 2023:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by (1) Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 11 January (HL4504), and (2) the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at DCMS on 14 December 2021 (88799), why they provided statistics on the amount of customer suicides that have been reported by gambling operators in the past three years in 2021 but not in 2023; and whether they will now provide updated statistics.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con): In the past three years, the Gambling Commission has published details of two enforcement cases which have had links to deaths by suicide.

The Office for National Stastics’s process of collecting mortality statistics is separate from gambling operator data. The Gambling Commission asks operators to notify the Commission if they are made aware of a death by suicide which may be linked to their gambling facilities. This enables the Commission to make enquiries to determine whether there has been a breach of social responsibility codes and licence conditions and whether compliance or enforcement action is appropriate.

To strengthen provisions further, the Commission has recently opened a consultation on reporting deaths by suicide. The proposals would require licensees to inform the Commission when they become aware that any customer has died by suicide, whether or not there is a clear link to their gambling activity.


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