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Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL3871, tabled on 9 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times (1) ministers, and (2) officials, from the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have met representatives of the gambling reform groups or survivors of gambling harm (a) in person, and (b) through video call, since June 2020; and what was the nature of those discussions.

Answered on

23 November 2021

Ministers and officials have regular meetings with the industry and other gambling stakeholders to support ongoing work and policy development. There has also been a wide-ranging series of meetings to support the ongoing Gambling Act Review which was launched in December 2020 with a Call for Evidence.

Records of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and are available on gov.uk. The meetings with the gambling industry and its representatives have covered a very wide range of issues, for instance the impact of Covid-19 closures on the land-based industry and the measures the Government was taking to support the economy, measures the industry is taking to make gambling safer, and industry evidence on the Act Review. A number of these have also been introductory meetings with new Ministers.

Officials in the gambling policy team have had around sixty meetings with industry in that period covering the above topics, particularly the impact of Covid-19, and also other areas such as animal welfare in horse and greyhound racing, the implications of Brexit and supply chain disruption, and delivery of previous commitments made by industry, such as the £100m to support treatment over four years.

Ministers have met a wide range of non-industry gambling stakeholders over the same period. This has included six meetings with gambling harm campaign groups or people with personal experience of gambling harm (including roundtables with many individuals or organisations present), thirteen meetings with parliamentarians campaigning for reform, and three meetings with gambling researchers and education and treatment providers. We do not have a record of which meetings were conducted remotely or in person.

Officials in the gambling policy team have had over one hundred further meetings with non-industry gambling related stakeholders since June 2020. This has included eleven with campaign groups or people with personal experience, thirty three with those working primarily on gambling research, seven with those primarily related to gambling harm education, seventeen with treatment providers for gambling related harm, and three meetings with think-tanks. Many of these meetings were in connection with the Gambling Act Review, discussing individuals’ or groups' priorities and the evidence they presented.