It is worth reminding hon. Members that this measure is a change to gambling taxation and is not related to the regulation of gambling activity, which is a matter for DCMS—I am sure the hon. Gentleman knows that. I take his point about the health effects and the impact on families. The Government continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing gambling controls. DCMS has launched a review of the Gambling Act 2005 with a call for evidence. This closed at the end of March and the Government will respond in due course.
We will also look at how we can ensure that the impact on the sector itself is proportionate, given that much of the casino industry has been closed down for the last year. We believe that the sector is already making a fair contribution to public finances, so this is not necessarily the time for an increase.
Revalorising gaming duty bands in line with inflation, as the Government have done, is assumed in the public finances. Freezing the bands would have a very small impact on the public finances, while pushing smaller, generally regional casinos into high duty bands, hence why we have done this in this way
I remind the Committee that the top rate of gaming duty is currently 50%. The system ensures that casinos pay their fair share of overall gambling tax receipts. This measure does not represent a tax cut. Given DCMS’s call for evidence, I am sure this is an area that Parliament will return to again and again.