Finance (No. 2) Bill (Fourth sitting)

Published date : 05 January, 2022
I rise to speak to new clause 11. For far too many people, gambling is not something that falls into the category of harmless fun. There are many harms associated with gambling. There are the financial harms, obviously, when someone’s luck is not with them. There are the short-term harms and the harms of long-term debt. There are the addictive and compulsive behaviours associated with gambling. There is the harm to individual wellbeing in terms of mental and physical health, and to the friends and families of those engaged in the harmful behaviours associated with gambling.

To get to the nub of it, duties are obviously charged on casino gaming products, but there are also social responsibilities on those who provide such experiences. Frankly, in deciding the balance in terms of where tax is levied, we need to be able to assess the impact and volume of gambling and its wider impact on public health. That is what new clause 11 would do. We do not intend to push it to a vote, but the Government need to be mindful of this issue, and they should assess and have the evidence basis for the changes that they make, so they can set appropriate policy in the future, for all the reasons I have outlined.

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