Bishop of St Albans – gambling industry is privatising profits and nationalising cost of problem gambling

St Albans 2On 2nd July 2019 the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport  repeated a Government Statement about industry support for those affected by problem gambling. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I welcome this announcement today, but I notice from a press release from the companies that they see it as a health issue:

“The key priority will be to quadruple the number of those accessing treatment from 2.5% to 10%”.

After four years, 90% of those with gambling addiction problems will still be unable to access help. Surely that cannot be acceptable. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans – gambling industry is privatising profits and nationalising cost of problem gambling”

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.

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

Bishop of St Albans asks about lessons for gambling advertising of tobacco display ban

On 24th May 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on tobacco and gambling display advertising:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL15775 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the paper Impact of a ban on the open display of tobacco products in retail outlets on never smoking youth in the UK: findings from a repeat cross-sectional survey before, during and after implementation, published in the British Medical Journal in May; and whether they will consider the implications of those findings for other unhealthy commodity industries, including gambling.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about lessons for gambling advertising of tobacco display ban”

Bishop of Ely asks Government about gaming addiction among young people

On 23rd May 2019  Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe ask the Government “what plans they have to sponsor research into the benefits of gaming for children’s mental health and wellbeing.” The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, there has been much conversation already about research into gaming addiction among young people. My right reverend friend the Bishop of St Albans raised the issue of a mandatory pause function following calls from healthcare providers. As that was raised again in conversation and discussion around the Online Harms White Paper, will the Minister confirm that the Government are assessing the value of this function? Continue reading “Bishop of Ely asks Government about gaming addiction among young people”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about NHS plan and gambling related harm

On 9th May 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on the NHS and gambling related harm and rehabilitation:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL15360 To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Manzoor on 29 January (HL12939), when they expect the NHS to publish its “clear implementation framework” of the NHS Long Term Plan which would “set out how the commitments should be delivered by local systems and ensure transparency for patients and the public”. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about NHS plan and gambling related harm”

Bishop of St Albans welcomes Online Harms proposals, calls for action on gaming addiction

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, this is a vast subject, and I will limit my comments to just a few areas.

I and others on these Benches welcome this White Paper, in particular the attempt to rethink the way we see this whole area. In the past we brought in individual laws to deal with particular problems. My colleague the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chelmsford has been arguing for some while that we need to see this as public space. We need to try to understand how we can regulate it from first principles in a way that guarantees the freedoms we want and the huge benefits that have come through the online world, which has made a huge and incalculable difference to our lives, but also protects the many people who are vulnerable. We have heard some account of just some of the problems some people have faced.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans welcomes Online Harms proposals, calls for action on gaming addiction”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government if it will ban or regulate loot boxes in online games

On 29th March 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on online gaming.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have, if any, to (1) ban loot boxes in online games, and (2) regulate such loot boxes through the Gambling Commission. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government if it will ban or regulate loot boxes in online games”