Gambling Commission Under PAC Attack
The Commons Public Accounts Committee, which assesses value for public money, has accused both the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the Gambling Commission, of having “an unacceptably weak understanding” of problem gambling and of a “lack of urgency” in tackling this issue.
There are an estimated 395,000 problem gamblers in the UK, of which more than 50,000 are between 11-16. A further 1.8 million people are considered ‘at risk’. The impacts can be devastating for people and their families – as well as financial losses, problems with gambling can lead to mental health issues, home loss, family and relationship breakdown, criminality and suicide.
Gambling operators have committed to spend £60m to treating problem gamblers. The PAC report criticises the “lack of urgency” from DCMS in tackling problem gambling, questioning why industry has been expected to voluntarily treat the problem, rather than the Commission taking active steps to stop the problem in the first place.