Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry
Gambling Harm—Time for Action

Report of Session 2019-21 - published 2 July 2020 - HL Paper 79



Chapter 1: Introduction

One inquiry, three committees

Our working methods

Other contemporaneous work

The devolved administrations

A word on terminology


Implementation of this report

Chapter 2: Background and the current situation

Gambling—the statutory definition

Betting and gaming


Gambling Commission

Legislative background

Budd Report


Draft Gambling Bill and pre-legislative scrutiny

Post-legislative scrutiny

Political shift

Gambling prevalence

Social and economic benefits of gambling

Social benefits

Economic benefits

Chapter 3: The gambling industry: structure, development and current picture

Gambling industry

Size of the sector

Figure 1: GGY by Sector, October 2018 to September 2019

Offline gambling

Gaming machines

Figure 2: Machines GGY by sector location

Triennial reviews

Gambling venues


Clustering of betting shops

Figure 3: Percentage of bookmakers located by geographical decile, as defined by the MHCLG’s index of multiple deprivation

Lone working in betting shops

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Online Gambling



The range of online gambling

Unregulated online gambling

Prevalence of online gambling

Figure 4: Location of online gambling in the past four weeks

Young people and online gambling

Online problem gambling

Building safer online gambling

Assessment of new games

Online stake limits

Speed of play limits

Chapter 4: Regulation

The Gambling Commission

Box 1: The Commission’s statutory functions under the Act



Strategy to reduce gambling harms

Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP)


How the Gambling Commission is performing: the views of witnesses

The view of this Committee

Licensing of affiliates

The house edge

Regulation by local authorities

Chapter 5: Gambling-related harm

The scale of the issue

Figure 5: Distribution of problem gamblers in Great Britain by age and sex

British Gambling Prevalence Survey

Longitudinal surveys

The value to the industry: the greater the problem, the higher the profit

Figure 6: Percentage of online gambling industry profits derived from each category of gambler

The wider impact of gambling harms

A health issue

The Department with primary responsibility

Box 2: Government departments with responsibilities for gambling


The dearth of statistics

Statistics through the coronial process

Training of doctors

Affordability checks

How to measure affordability

Data protection issues

The role of the banks

VIP schemes

Figure 7: VIP account and deposit comparator (online)

Abuse of VIP schemes

The industry view


Self-exclusion disregarded


A Duty of care

Disputes between customers and operators

Non-disclosure agreements

An Ombudsman scheme

Chapter 6: Children and young people

Young people and gambling prevalence

Young people and problem gambling

Loot boxes

Loot boxes and problem gambling

Redefining gambling

Underage gambling and problem gambling

Minimum age for gambling

National Lottery

Category D gaming machines

Children at racecourses

Chapter 7: Advertising

Facts and statistics

Regulation of advertising

Effect of advertising

Advertising and children

Sport and advertising

Complex sports betting

Interdependence of sport and betting

The whistle-to-whistle ban

A later watershed

A ban on all advertising of gambling

Sports kit and sports grounds

Bet to View

Other inducements

Direct marketing

Chapter 8: Research, education and treatment

Funding of research, education and treatment

A mandatory levy

Funding problems with a voluntary levy


Funding by GambleAware

Independence of GambleAware


The Chadlington Committee

Availability of data for research



The National Problem Gambling Clinic

GamCare and Gordon Moody

Chapter 9: Lotteries, including the National Lottery

Society lotteries

The National Lottery

Gambling prevalence for lotteries

Lotteries and taxation

Lotteries and advertising

Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Appendix 4: Extracts from election manifestos

Appendix 5: Acronyms and abbreviations

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