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2 July 2020

Charity calls for greater regulation of the gambling industry in light of new research

A new House of Lords Gambling Industry Committee report has found a third of a million people in the UK are problem gamblers, 55,000 of which are children. 

At the same time the British Medical Journal is publishing an open letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Culture Minister Oliver Dowden urging the government to introduce a statutory levy on betting companies. 

Responding to the new research and advocacy calls - Robin Pollard, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at drug, alcohol and mental health charity We Are With You, said: 

“Problem gambling can destroy lives. Our own polling shows people who gamble regularly are more likely to experience drug, alcohol and mental health issues, while the effects often ripple through people’s family and friends. Research has shown people with a gambling issue are 15 times more likely to commit suicide. 

“The number of problem gamblers is rising but just 2% of this group were referred into treatment in 2018. At the same time the gambling industry made a profit of over £14 billion in 2018/19. It’s clearly not right that profits can soar at the expense of people’s well being. The gambling industry has failed to regulate itself. That’s why we are joining calls for a mandatory levy on the industry to create more and better treatment services.”

Spokespeople available upon request.