On 12th September 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in a House of Lords debate tabled by Lord Broooke of Alverthorpe “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the trends in different types of addiction in England and Wales.” He focused his comments on gambling addiction and the steps needed to address the social harm being caused.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Brooke, for raising this issue and to the noble Lord, Lord Chadlington; I wish to address the same area, but he has done it with eloquence and passion. I will try not to repeat the arguments he made, although there may be a little bit of duplication.
Gambling addiction is now a major public health issue in the UK. We have an estimated 430,000 problem gamblers. As well as the huge financial cost to us as a nation, which falls on the taxpayer, it is affecting other areas of life. Last week, for example, Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, spoke of the huge additional burden it is putting on the NHS; some estimate that it is costing the NHS £610 million per year at a time when budgets are really stretched. But this is not about the financial costs alone. Gambling addicts have higher rates of separation and divorce than the general population, and higher levels of homelessness. Problem gambling affects all age groups, but particularly large numbers of children are either at risk or designated as problem gamblers. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans suggests steps to tackle social harm caused by problem gambling”
On the 12th of September the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the increasing prevalence of gambling advertising.” The exchanges and follow-up questions from other Members can be seen below:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the increasing prevalence of gambling advertising, as reported in the Gambling Commission’s ‘Review of online gambling’, published in March.
Viscount Younger of Leckie(Con):…My Lords, the growth of online gambling has seen increased advertising for these products on TV and in social media. There are strict controls on the content and targeting of gambling advertising. A survey of evidence found that its impact on problem gambling was likely to be relatively small. We have set out a range of measures to strengthen protections further, including new guidance and research and tougher sanctions for breaches of the advertising codes. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls for regulation of gambling advertising and levy on firms to to fund addiction treatment”
The following article by the Bishop of St Albans appeared on the Politics Home website on 12th September 2018:
Gambling advertising is out of control – I know it, parents know it and it’s about time the government get to know it. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans’s article: Enough is enough – gambling advertising is out of control”
The following article by the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, was published in the Daily Telegraph.
Britain is facing a ‘generational time bomb’ of children conditioned to think that gambling is normal
17 AUGUST 2018 • 9:30 PM
Ask any parent or teacher and they will tell you children play a lot of online games, including Fortnite which has taken the world by storm. What they might not know is that these games allow children to gamble quite openly – just without money.
This is all legal because of a loophole. And at the same time, whether on tablets or phones, children are bombarded with ads which make gambling sound like harmless fun.
The combined effect of these two factors is that, like Pavlov’s Dogs, a generation of children are being conditioned to gamble. Continue reading “Britain is facing a ‘generational time bomb’ of children conditioned to think that gambling is normal, says Bishop of St Albans”
On the 25th July 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith received a written answer from Lord Ashton about Gaming Machines.
Continue reading “Written Answer – Bishop of St Albans questions the Government about Gaming Machines”
On 25th July 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on meetings held by civil servants and ministers with stakeholders on fixed-odds betting terminals:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what meetings civil servants and ministers had with stakeholders between 1 January and 11 July about the reduction in stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2; and what were the (1) dates, (2) locations, and (3) attendees, of each of those meetings. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about meetings with stakeholders on betting machines”
On 10th July 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government about the date for bringing in the promised reduction in stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals. The Bishop of Chester also asked a follow-up question and a full transcript of the exchanges is below:
Gambling: Fixed-odds Betting Terminals
Asked by the Lord Bishop of St Albans:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the stake on fixed-odds betting terminals will be lowered to £2. Continue reading “Peers back call by Bishop of St Albans for Government to cut stakes on betting machines without delay”