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”

Bishop of St Albans calls for compulsory levy on gambling firms to fund research and treatment of gambling related harm

On 27th November 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Goverment about gambling related harm. His follow up question and those of other Members is reproduced below:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the sufficiency of current industry contributions to efforts to reduce gambling-related harm.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls for compulsory levy on gambling firms to fund research and treatment of gambling related harm”

Bishop of Portsmouth leads debate on health consequences of problem gambling

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On the 1st November the Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster led a short debate in the Lords about gambling addiction, numbers of people being hospitalised and the cost to the NHS. A full trancript of the debate is below:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to (1) reduce the number of problem gamblers hospitalised each year, and (2) protect vulnerable people from gambling addiction.
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of St Albans has had, at very short notice, to remain in his diocese. He apologises for being unable to be here and to ask this Question. On his behalf and with his permission, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in his name on the Order Paper. He and I are grateful to those participating in this short debate, and look forward to their contributions. There is a seamless transition between the last item of business and this one. The right reverend Prelate’s interest in this subject comes from the people who have contacted him directly to explain how gambling has destroyed their lives. The Church has often campaigned on behalf of victims, and we on these Benches want to contribute towards some solutions.

Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth leads debate on health consequences of problem gambling”

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.

Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth responds to Government statement about Fixed Odds Betting Terminals”