Bishop says society must not accept child gambling 'crisis' following report


The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, has responded to a new report from the Gambling Commission looking at gambling trends of 11 to 16 year-olds in Great Britain.
Children walking Gambling Commission

Responding to the 2019 Young People and Gambling report which was published on Wednesday, Bishop Alan said:

"This new evidence from the Gambling Commission provides welcome and much-needed insight into the world of gambling that children are living in

"There continue to be 55,000 children classed as “problem gamblers” and a further 87,000 at risk. While this remains a national scandal, the Commission uses detached phrases such as: “The 2019 results do not represent a significant increase over time.”

"Tens of thousands of families could be living in a nightmare with their child's level of gambling activity. When the average spend on gambling by children is £17 per week it is evidence of potential serious family finance problems. 

"Policy calls for a public health approach to gambling-related harm, so I would have liked to have seen concrete evidence of effective solutions over the past year to reduce the exposure of children to gambling.

"A civilised, modern, society, must not accept this crisis as normal or become content with it."