Gambling: Social Media Sites

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 1st May 2014.

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Photo of Nia Griffith Nia Griffith Shadow Minister (Wales) 9:30 am, 1st May 2014

What steps he plans to take to reduce simulated gambling on social media sites.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The Government are aware of concerns about gambling-like activities on social media. The Gambling Commission has published a review of existing evidence and is working with all relevant bodies to analyse data and assess any relevant risk.

Photo of Nia Griffith Nia Griffith Shadow Minister (Wales)

Will the Minister tell the House how she will ensure that no promotion of online gambling is targeted at young people using simulated gambling sites? Clearly, those people are already very vulnerable, and the temptation for real gambling to be advertised to those young people is immense. How will she ensure that that does not happen?

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Of course, the remote gambling Bill that will be presented later this year will do an awful lot to deal with any abuse coming from online gambling. The risks of social gaming fall into two categories: consumer exploitation and problem gambling. The Gambling Commission is looking at both, and I am happy to speak to it and to take advice on the specific issue that the hon. Lady has brought to my attention.

Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry The Second Church Estates Commissioner

Am I right in thinking that the mischief of which Nia Griffith complains about deregulating gambling was introduced by the previous Labour Government in their Gambling Act 2005?

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

My right hon. Friend makes a good point, and we have spent a considerable amount of time unravelling a lot of the work that Labour Members did over the past 13 years—so much so that I was happy to present a set of proposals and a package of reforms yesterday.