The Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group (GRH APPG) met this week to re-elect its officers and set out their work programme for the year. The Group, which has been highly effective, agreed to continue to vigorously campaign to reduce gambling related harm during this Parliament and to ensure that the new Gambling Act delivered better regulation.
Carolyn Harris MP was re-elected as Chair of the Group. The Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP, Ronnie Cowan MP, Lord Foster and Sammy Wilson MP were also elected as Vice-Chairs of the Group, demonstrating the cross-party support for the group.
The APPG welcomed the Government’s decision this month to ban gambling with credit cards. This was a recommendation made by the APPG in its interim report on online gambling, published in November 2019. The Group agreed that it would now be campaigning to ensure that the remaining recommendations set out in its report were also actively taken forward including restrictions on the staking levels online, on gambling advertising and the statutory ‘smart’ levy to fund research, education and treatment.
In completing its current inquiry into online gambling, the APPG will call upon the Gambling Commission and the Gambling Minister to appear before the Group to contribute to the APPG’s final report, which will be published in the coming months.
This year, the group will also be undertaking evidence sessions to provide recommendations to the Gambling Review which is due to be undertaken by Government ahead of the new Gambling Act.
Evidence sessions will look at all aspects of harm in the industry including at areas such as the age level for purchasing scratch-cards, the normalisation of gambling, gambling advertising and the ‘gamblification’ of sport.
Carolyn Harris MP said:
“I am delighted to have been re-elected Chair of the GRH APPG. Gambling related harm is an issue that is very close to my heart and one I am extremely passionate about. The APPG is not anti-gambling, we support a safe and sustainable industry. Our primary concern is to continue to champion the cause for better regulation and we are determined that all parts of the industry should operate openly, fairly and in a way that does not prey on vulnerable people”.
Notes to Editors
- The Gambling Related Harm (GRH) All Party Parliamentary Group has been created to provide a forum for discussion and further investigation into the impact gambling harm, in our communities. This group, powered by the passion of the members in both houses of Parliament on this issue, allows a coordinated effort among politicians of all political parties, to come together to discuss how best to address the issues that gambling harm is causing in our communities.
- The Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group undertook an inquiry into the harm caused by online gambling in 2019. The Group’s interim report on online gambling was published on 4 November 2019 and can be accessed here http://www.grh-appg.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Interim-APPG-Report-November-final-1.pdf
- For more information, please contact Carolyn Harris MP, the Chair of the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group or the Secretariat for the Group: Holly Ramsey Holly.Ramsey@interelgroup.com T: 020 7592 3832
- The newly elected members of the Group are:
• Carolyn Harris MP – Chair
• Ronnie Cowan MP – Vice Chair
• Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP – Vice Chair
• Lord Foster of Bath – Vice Chair
• Sir Mark Hendrick MP – Vice Chair
• Stuart McDonald MP – Vice Chair
• Sammy Wilson MP – Vice Chair
• Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning – Vice Chair
• Stephen Timms MP – Treasurer
• Gerald Jones MP – Secretary