Oral Answers to Questions

Margaret Ferrier Excerpts
Thursday 9th March 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lucy Frazer Portrait Lucy Frazer
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I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising those important questions, some of which we engage on regularly with the Treasury, particularly energy. As I said in my previous answer, we have schemes to support grassroots venues. The ACE scheme has been extended to March and we will continue to look at what more we can do to support this important sector.

Margaret Ferrier Portrait Margaret Ferrier (Rutherglen and Hamilton West) (Ind)
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8. What recent discussions she has had with gambling industry representatives on tackling gambling-related harms.

Lucy Frazer Portrait The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Lucy Frazer)
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I know that the hon. Member, as vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on gambling related harm, has a keen interest in this issue. Tackling gambling-related harm is a priority of mine. I have met the Betting and Gaming Council, the British Amusement Catering Trade Association and the Bingo Association, as well as some of those with lived experience of gambling harms, including the Gambling Commission’s lived experience advisory panel and those involved with Gambling with Lives. I also recently discussed with the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust how gambling affects young people. All of that will support our evidence-led gambling review, and we will publish a White Paper setting out our conclusions shortly.

Margaret Ferrier Portrait Margaret Ferrier
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I know this is an important area for the Minister, too. Figures published by Public Health England estimate that the total cost of gambling harm to public health ranges from £754.4 million to £1.475 billion. These costs have been attributed to suicide, depression, homelessness and alcohol dependence among adults, so when will the Secretary of State publish the long-awaited White Paper? Will she commit to including a statutory levy and stringent affordability checks to ensure people are protected and do not gamble more than they can afford?

Lucy Frazer Portrait Lucy Frazer
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The hon. Lady rightly highlights the impact gambling can have on some vulnerable people. This is the most thorough review of gambling laws since the Gambling Act 2005 was passed, and we need to get it right so that our regulation is not just fit for the digital age but protects those who are vulnerable. We are looking at the best available evidence, including from the 16,000 submissions to our call for evidence, and we will be publishing our findings very shortly.

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Julia Lopez Portrait Julia Lopez
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I thank my hon. Friend for championing this role and for all the work that he does on science, technology, engineering and maths, which has such an important overlap with what is going on in the creative industries. We have a creative sector vision coming up, and I am also pleased to highlight that his council, Basildon, has put forward a fantastic bid for a creative centre for screen and immersive tech, and we will be announcing soon whether that has been successful.

Margaret Ferrier Portrait Margaret Ferrier (Rutherglen and Hamilton West) (Ind)
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T7. What plans does the Secretary of State have to undertake a rigorous research project on the positive societal benefits of community boxing clubs, such as those across my constituency?

Stuart Andrew Portrait Stuart Andrew
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The hon. Lady is right to raise the issue of community boxing clubs. I was very pleased to visit one in Bradford very recently. These clubs are often run by superb volunteers, and that will be a feature in our sporting strategy.