The House of Lords’ Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry has published a call for evidence to support its inquiry into problem gambling in the UK.
The House of Lords’ study will focus on a few key issues within gambling, including the current state of the industry, developments in gambling habits, like online gambling, and the so-called “gamblification” of sport.
Alongside these issues, The Committee will examine:
- The lack of accurate estimates of the possible extent of the UK’s problem gambling habit
- Whether the industry is contributing enough towards research, education and treatment of problem gamblers
- And, whether those need of help have access to the services they need
A call for evidence
At this stage in the inquiry, the Committee is inviting evidence submissions from all interested individuals and organisations. The evidence will be used as part of the inquiry and the deadline for contributions of September 6.
“We know that the effects of gambling on individuals and families can be devastating,” Committee chairman Lord Grade of Yarmouth said. “This Committee seeks further to understand the issues, in an area where concrete evidence is lacking, and to explore options for improvement.”
The Committee has asked, as part of its call for evidence, that interested parties consider a number of questions, including whether the Gambling Act 2005 succeeded in achieving its aims; to prevent gambling from becoming a crime or disorder.
Another question that will be posed to those providing evidence is if operators should have a legal duty of care to their customers? Question parties will also be asked for their view on the effectiveness of the voluntary levy, future decision-making on the regulation of gambling advertising and what more should be done to educate the public about gambling.
Lord Grade said: “The Committee is keen to receive evidence from a wide range of individuals, organisations and any sectors or groups in society effected. We encourage anyone with experience of the issues to share their views and participate in this vital inquiry.”
A change to the Levy system
Last week, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright said the UK government should introduce a mandatory levy if the gambling sector’s voluntary funding plans do not raise enough cash to support the treatment and prevention of gambling harm.
It was recently revealed that the gambling industry failed to hit the target of the voluntary levy to support problem gamblers. The target for the voluntary charity donation was just 0.1% of profits, but it was not met and now there are calls for a mandatory levy on gambling profits to help fund research and support for problem gamblers.
GVC Holdings, bet365, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill and Sky Betting and Gaming have set out plans to increase funding for problem gambling treatment by creating a safer gambling environment and increasing donations to 1% of gross gambling yield by 2023. The proposed increase will represent an annual contribution of around £60m by 2023.