Church Commissioners written answer: Church action on problem gambling

spelman170119eOn 22nd July 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question, from Gregory Campbell MP, regarding problem gambling:

Gregory Campbell (DUP): 278399 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to tackle problem gambling.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about effectiveness of Bet Regret campaign

St Albans 2On 16th July 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from the Government, about the Bet Regret campaign:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL16962 To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the remarks by Lord Ashton of Hyde on 2 July (HL Deb, col 1346), on what evidence they based their claim that the Bet Regret campaign is showing promising results.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about gambling-related harm amongst veterans and armed forces

St Albans 2On 24th June 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers from Government, in reply to five questions about problem gambling and gaming machines in the armed forces and on the armed forces estates:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (i) HL16430 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of gambling-related harm amongst (1) veterans, and (2) those currently serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces; and whether the Ministry of Defence has conducted any research into gambling participation rates in those groups.

(ii) HL16429 to ask Her Majesty’s Government how many (1) Fixed-Odd Betting Terminals and (2) Electronic Gaming Machines, are located on Ministry of Defence property in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, (3) 2017, and (4) 2018; and who was the beneficiary of any such money.

(iii) HL16428 To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many (1) Fixed-Odd Betting Terminals and (2) Electronic Gaming Machines, are on property belonging to the Ministry of Defence.
(iv) HL16431 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what provision is available to problem gamblers who are currently serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
(v) HL16432 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made, if any, of the number of problem gamblers who are currently serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

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Bishop of Portsmouth responds to Government statement about Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Portsmouth 150318On the 1st November 2018 the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, Bishop of Portsmouth, responded to a Government statement about Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals: 

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, may I briefly make two points? The Minister has indicated that he is aware of the strong feelings in this House. He and other members of Her Majesty’s Government must have been aware, particularly on Tuesday when this matter arose at Question Time, that that concern comes from all sides of this House. He may not be aware that after playing a part on Monday, as I sat in the Commons Gallery for the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget Statement, I used the word “disappointed” about the Chancellor’s decision to delay implementing this change. The Minister may not be aware that the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury has subsequently gone further and described it as appalling.

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Bishop of St Albans criticises appalling delay in bringing in stake reduction on betting machines

On 30th of October Lord Griffiths of Burry Port asked the Government  whether they will introduce legislation to reduce the maximum bet for fixed-odds betting machines to £2; and if so, when. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: Many of us who have been speaking and campaigning on this issue were appalled yesterday to hear about the further time that it will take to implement this. These machines are predominantly found in the poorest areas. The research is quite clear: they cause huge poverty. On top of that, it is estimated that every day between one and two people commit suicide for gambling-related reasons. That is not only a huge social cost; it is a massive financial cost, far more than the £400 million relevant tax revenue that Her Majesty’s Government receive each year. Surely it is time to do this for the sake of everyone in our country. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans criticises appalling delay in bringing in stake reduction on betting machines”

Bishop of St Albans asks about link between suicides and gambling addiction

On 30th October 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from Government about suicides linked to problem gambling or gambling addiction:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the number of suicides that were linked to gambling addiction or problem gambling from 2010 till 2018. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about link between suicides and gambling addiction”

Bishop of St Albans letter in Financial Times – Reduce £100 betting machine stake without further delay

The following letter appeared in the Financial Times on 24th October 2018:

We refer to your report “ Hammond plan to lift offshore gaming tax deals tough hand for casino groups” (October 22) and write to you as members of the House of Lords from the Christian Churches and other established religious traditions, to urge the government to implement the reduction of the £100 stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) without delay. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans letter in Financial Times – Reduce £100 betting machine stake without further delay”