Orders of the Day — Gambling Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:34 pm on 1st November 2004.

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Photo of Tessa Jowell Tessa Jowell The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 3:34 pm, 1st November 2004

So views on gambling vary enormously, and the purpose of this Second Reading debate is to allow those views to be heard.

The House should recognise, however, that gambling is at the boundary between personal freedom and state intervention. On one side of the boundary is the reasonable expectation of adults who, within the law, exercise their right to live their lives as they choose. On the other is the role of the state: to recognise human frailty, and in particular to respect its duty to protect children and the vulnerable. As a Government and a society, we have three options in that respect: prohibition, a free-for-all or regulation. We have no doubt about choosing the regulatory route. The question for the House is how best to apply the regulatory framework for the benefit of society as a whole.