On 20th September 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers to two questions about the regulation of online gambling:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans:
(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to regulate the use of electronic data by betting firms and their affiliates to target online advertising at specific groups.
(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to incorporate a review of online gambling into the Triennial Review of Gaming Machine Stake and Prize Limits. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about regulation of online gambling”
On 14th September 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Chadlington, ‘That this House takes note of the effect of gambling advertisements on children.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I too add my thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Chadlington, for introducing this important debate, which has such implications for young people in our country.
Gambling-related advertising poses a substantial risk of harm to children.
Continue reading “Betting firms should be forced to take drastic action to protect children from ads says Bishop of St Albans”
On 14th September 2017 The Times newspaper published a letter from the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, about the forthcoming Government gambling review and the need to address the issue of fixed odds betting terminals:
Sir, It is encouraging to read that the prime minister is putting her weight behind the reduction in stakes for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) (“Treasury backs down on fixed-odds betting curbs”, Sep 12). The present maximum stake of £100 for an FOBT looks like an anomaly compared with the stakes permitted in other licensed gaming machine categories, which range from £1 to £5. The £100 stakes allow FOBTs to wreak disproportionate harm. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans letter to The Times on Government review of fixed odds betting terminals”
On the 3rd April 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, received two written answers on the impact of gambling on children:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the position paper published by the Gambling Commission in March concerning online gambling using virtual in-game currencies, whether they will take further steps to protect children from being exposed to such gambling. [HL6429]
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about impact of gambling on children”
On 7th December 2016, the House of Lords considered the Government’s Policing and Crime Bill in Committee. The Bishop of Bristol co-sponsored an amendment on fixed-odds betting terminals. The amendment was withdrawn after the debate, following assurances from the Minister that the issue would be looked at in the forthcoming review.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, I will speak to Amendments 173C, 196A and 200A in my name and I support Amendment 173B, in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Beecham. I am grateful for the way in which he introduced this group of amendments.
Members of your Lordships’ House will be only too aware that the House has rehearsed the arguments around betting shops, and in particular fixed-odds betting terminals, numerous times in the past year, and there seems to be little need to repeat them here in detail. We know that violent crime is on the increase in betting premises—up 68% in London over the past five years—and it seems very likely that the increasing reliance of betting shops on FOBTs is a key reason for this trend. Continue reading “Policing and Crime Bill: Bishop of Bristol sponsors amendment to regulate betting machines”
On 9th November 2016, the House of Lords considered the Government’s Policing and Crime Bill at its Committee Stage. An amendment tabled by the Bishop of St Albans was debated that would allow local authorities to regulate the number of fixed-odds betting terminals in their areas. In the absence of the Bishop, Lord Beecham moved the amendment and the Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in support:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, for moving the amendment. I stand in place of my colleague the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of St Albans, who is unable to be here today, in support of Amendment 214, which would grant new powers to local licensing authorities in regulating gaming machines on gambling premises. As the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, has already made clear, there is a strong case for measures that will help local authorities tackle gambling-related crime to be included in the Policing and Crime Bill. Continue reading “Policing and Crime Bill: Bishops propose tougher regulations on fixed-odds betting terminals”