Bishop of St Albans asks Government about gambling by students and young people

On 20th March 2019 the Bishop of St Albans Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers to three questions on gambling, students and young people:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans:

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(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the National Union of Students’ gambling survey, published on 25 February, that (1) three in five students have gambled in some way over the past 12 months, (2) almost one in ten have used all or some of their student loan to gamble, and (3) four per cent of respondents owed over £20,000 as a result of gambling.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the National Union of Students’ gambling survey, published on 25 February, that 29 per cent of respondents were under the age of 16 when they had first gambled.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about gambling by students and young people”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about support for young gambling addicts

StAlbans051218On 5th February 2019 Lord Clark of Windermere asked the Government “when they intend to publish the NHS Workforce Implementation Plan which was announced in the NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January”. Rt Revd Alan Smith,  Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question about the support services made available to young people with gambling addictions.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, it is encouraging to hear that the long-term plan will include funding for services for those with gambling addictions. With 430,000 gambling addicts in this country, of which 55,000 are teenagers, this is a really urgent matter. Can we press Her Majesty’s Government please to move on this quickly?

There is only one NHS clinic available at the moment. If funding is an issue, will the Government explore the possibility of introducing a mandatory levy on the gambling industry to pay for the cost to the NHS, which Simon Stevens suggests is £1.2 billion?

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about support for young gambling addicts”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about gambling treatment in NHS long term plan

On 29th and 30th January the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received four written answers to questions on the NHS and gambling related harm and rehabilitation:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans:  To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many dedicated gambling clinics will be established as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January; where those clinics will be; what are the expected (1) capital, and (2) annual running costs of those facilities; and when they will be opened to patients. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about gambling treatment in NHS long term plan”

Bishop of St Albans – ban online gambling adverts and monitor games to reduce harm to young people

On 17th January 2019 Baroness Kidron led a debate in the House of Lords on the motion “that this House takes note of the relationship between the use of digital technology and the health and well-being of children and young people.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Kidron, for raising this subject and for her outstanding introduction to this debate.

Fifty-five thousand children in this country are classified as problem gamblers. The Gambling Commission’s report, Young People and Gambling, published in November, shows that gambling participation has risen, with 14% of 11 to 16 year-olds having spent their own money on gambling. That is a greater proportion of young people than have drunk alcohol, smoked cigarettes or taken illegal drugs. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans – ban online gambling adverts and monitor games to reduce harm to young people”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government how it will regulate gambling advertising online focused on young people

On 15th January 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government in the House of Lords. The answer, his subsequent question and those of other Members are below:

Gambling: Children

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the prevalence of gambling among children and young people.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Lord Ashton of Hyde) (Con): My Lords, protecting children is a priority for the Government. There are strict controls to prevent underage gambling. In 2011, 23% of 11 to 15 year-olds had gambled in the last week, including with friends. Last year, it was 12%. On the other hand, the Gambling Commission’s Young People & Gambling 2018 report shows an increase to 14%, though not to earlier levels. Sample sizes are small, and we do not know if this is a trend. We are of course monitoring the situation very carefully.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the Minister for his reply. At a time when the gambling industry is spending about £1.5 billion a year on encouraging gambling, when children are seeing three gambling adverts every day on average and when 55,000 teenagers in this country are now classified as problem gamblers, we need to look at what is happening particularly online, where young people most often see the adverts, which is outside all the previous criteria for regulation. What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to regulate online advertising, which is particularly focused on our young people? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government how it will regulate gambling advertising online focused on young people”

Church Commissioners Written Answer: Gambling

On 29th November 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question on gambling:

Eddie Hughes (Walsall North): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to tackle problem gambling. Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answer: Gambling”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about underage gambling

On 29th November 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received answers to two written questions, on underage gambling:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many children under the age of 18 were treated for gambling related health conditions in each year from 2000. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about underage gambling”