Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport
John Penrose (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport; Weston-Super-Mare, Conservative)
I completely share my right hon. Friend’s concern about gambling addiction. Although it affects only a small number of people, it can ruin lives and is a very serious issue. Many colleagues on both sides of the House have raised it, as did Mary Portas in her recent review of the health of high streets throughout the country. However, my right hon. Friend will agree that we have to ensure that any policy or regulatory changes that might be considered are based not just on concern and anecdote, but on firm evidence and factual foundation. Therefore, my invitation to him and any other colleagues concerned about this issue—on either side of the House—is that if they can bring me hard evidence and facts, I will of course consider them extremely carefully.