Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, has been campaigning for those affected, financially or otherwise, by gambling.
Since becoming MP for North West Durham, Richard has been contacted by a number of constituents enquiring what he will do for his constituents who have had their lives turned upside down by gambling - either those who gamble and are directly affected by this, or those who have had family members or friends turn to gambling.
Richard is a member of the Gambling Related Harm Across Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which was set up to provide a forum for discussions and investigations into how gambling affects communities and individuals across the UK. The APPG has led inquiries about the impact of fixed odds betting terminals and assessing the impact of online gambling, amongst other issues. Richard attends the APPG's regular meetings to discuss potential inquiries, result of current inquiries and what he personally can do to help those affected by gambling. You can read more about the APPG and their work here.
Through his work with the APPG, Richard has met MPs from all parties who are looking to prevent gambling related harm and has also met external stakeholders. Most recently, he had an in-depth discussion with the Chief Executive of a major London casino about how coronavirus has affected the gambling industry and individuals who gamble, as well as the future of gambling as a whole and what casinos can do to help people, and what regulations are needed for the industry.
In Parliament, Richard has met with individuals and businesses who are looking to stop children gambling, whether it’s online, in mobile apps, in online or mobile gaming or in casinos, where some slot machines are not regulated and do not have a minimum age limit.
Richard has also led an evidence session on gambling through his role on the Public Accounts Committee, a select committee which looks at government and public spending. Richard quizzed the gambling commission about fines they issue and how they are protecting children and the vulnerable, as well as crime that comes as a result of gambling. You can watch Richard in his role here.
Richard stated ‘People across the UK and in North West Durham have their lives ruined by gambling, whether it’s people getting into serious financial trouble or relationships and families falling apart. I know that this is of concern to a number of my constituents who have been in touch to express their worries about gambling being ever-more readily available and easy to do online, especially for children. It’s clear that change is needed, whether it’s within the gambling commission or changing legislation to ensure people stay safe when they gamble and that the risks are clear. I’m looking forward to continuing my work with the APPG and, when I am able to, will be holding more meetings to discuss how I can help my constituents and those affected generally’.
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