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Problem Gambling - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:49 pm on 2nd July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 3:49 pm, 2nd July 2019

The right reverend Prelate, who has been vociferous in his views on this—I have been on the receiving end for several years—has done good work, but he is overexaggerating slightly. On the increase in the proportion of problem gamblers receiving treatment, we will never reach 100%. They have to agree to be part of it. We have significantly increased the resources available to do it. We had one gambling clinic in the east; another has just opened, specialising in children. We have announced plans to open 14, and today’s announcement is in addition to that. In every other sphere of potentially harmful industries, such as smoking and alcohol, the industry pays taxes and the treatment of people affected by those industries is paid for out of general taxation. The gambling industry pays £3 billion in gambling tax plus income tax and NI. In addition to that, the top five companies have agreed to pay a 1% levy on that to fund treatment. They are producing a large amount of money. Because it will be transparent, we will monitor what needs to be done, but this is a dramatic increase in resources in a very short time and it will make a significant difference.