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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 Kirkhope of Harrogate Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate Conservative 3:49 pm, 2nd July 2019

My Lords, following on from the presidency of the noble Lord, Lord Griffiths, of the Methodist Conference, I declare my interest: I became the Minister with responsibility for gambling back in 1995. Indeed, at that time we wanted to deregulate the gambling industry in a reasonable, balanced and gentle way to bring it up to date and more into line with the circumstances we found ourselves in. However, I never thought that we would end up with the situation we have now. The Statement, as far as it goes, is helpful but does not tackle the underlying problems that all of us see day after day as we watch television or go online. We are bombarded with advertising encouraging gambling at all levels. My noble friend talks about problem gambling. It is difficult to assess at what point someone’s gambling habits become a problem. Is it a problem to them or a problem to society? All gambling must have regulation and be responsible. All those involved in producing the gambling industry must be responsible and answer to regulation that the Government must bring up to date—and bring up to date soon.