Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, has confirmed that an overwhelming majority of his constituents support the work he is doing to prevent gambling related harm.
Richard ran a gambling survey in which a huge 99% of people stated that they agreed with his proposal to ban 16 and 17-year-olds gambling up to £350 a week. When asked whether the National Lottery should raise its age limits to 18 from 16 in order to face the same age restrictions as other gambling products, 92% of people agreed with Richard that the age limit should be raised.
Just 13% of people think advertising should not be banned before 9pm and 92% of people think that restrictions should be introduced to limit how much money an individual can gamble. 95% of people feel that limits should be introduced for online casino gambling via fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
Two thirds of people said that they knew someone who had been negatively affected by gambling and 94% of people stated that better mental health support should be available for those affected by gambling. Around half of people feel that relationship support should be in place for those who have been negatively affected by gambling, and only 6% of people felt that no support should be in place for those vulnerable to gambling.
Constituents flagged that gambling sites are too easily accessible, gambling accounts are easy to create, and gambling sites are not held accountable, meaning customers who are struggling financially or otherwise vulnerable are able to continue gambling. Constituents raised their concerns that there is little support currently available, and that the support that exists is not widely known about. Several constituents stated they were concerned about family members.
Commenting, Richard said:
“I am really pleased that so many of my constituents – the overwhelming majority – support the work that I am doing to prevent gambling related harm, whether it’s restricting the amount of money people can gamble or raising age limits. People want to see laws put in place to reflect how the internet has changed the way people gamble.
“An astounding two thirds of people know someone who has been detrimentally affected by gambling and people flagged that gambling online is much too easy – it’s easily accessible, support isn’t in place for those who need it, and gambling sites are not held accountable when things go seriously wrong for people.
“One constituent stated that gambling companies exploit the losing customers to make a profit and it is exactly this that I want to stop – I want to ensure that people are able to gamble safely and sensibly, teenagers cannot lose thousands a year on gambling and that, if things do go wrong, support is immediately available to those who need it.”
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