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Gambling

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what estimate she has made of turnover in the gambling industry in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement; (86104)

(2) what assessment she has made of the extent to which recent increases in turnover in the gambling industry have been a result of (a) increasing losses by those taking part in gambling activities and (b) new participants.

The Office for National Statistics publishes data on gambling expenditure (i.e. stakes minus winnings) by UK households. In the last five financial years, expenditure on gambling, including the national lottery, is as follows:

£ million

2001-02

7,216

2002-03

7,773

2003-04

8,695

2004-05

9,826

2005-06

9,807

The Gambling Act 2005, which will be fully implemented from September 2007, introduces a regulatory regime designed to ensure that the industry is crime-free, that gambling is fair, and that children and vulnerable people are properly protected.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the scale of betting conducted on British sporting events in other EU member states. (87675)

The Government do not hold information relating to bets taken by operators based outside Great Britain.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations she has made to the EU study on gambling services in the internal market of the EU. (87676)

My Department submitted evidence to the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, which undertook the study on behalf of the European Commission, and an official attended a briefing for member states hosted by the Swiss Institute.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the impact on market share of UK-based gambling and betting businesses of their effective regulation. (88825)

A Regulatory Impact Assessment of the Gambling Act 2005 was published on 21 April 2005. We are currently working through the programme of secondary legislation needed to implement the Act, in order that the process of implementation will be complete in September 2007. Statutory Instruments will be accompanied by Regulatory Impact Assessments where appropriate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what powers the Government have to control online advertising of (a) online and (b) casino gambling; and if she will make a statement. (88842)

The Committee of Advertising Practice will set standards and codes for non-broadcast advertising of gambling activities, including online advertising. The Secretary of State also has reserve powers under the Gambling Act 2005 to make regulations with regard to the form, content, timing and location of gambling advertising. She will not hesitate to use these powers if it becomes clear that self-regulation is not sufficient to protect children and vulnerable people from exploitation. Both the CAP codes and any Secretary of State regulations will apply to all non-broadcast advertising by gambling operators, wherever they are licensed.

Under the Gambling Act 2005 the Gambling Commission has the power to attach a condition to the licences it issues making provision for how gambling facilities may be advertised or described.

In addition, Section 331 of the Gambling Act prohibits any gambling operator based outside the European Economic Area or Gibraltar from advertising in the UK unless a specific exemption has been made for that jurisdiction under sub-section 331(4).

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions her Department has held with the Treasury on the taxation regime for online gambling; and if she will make a statement. (89085)

Officials from this department speak regularly with colleagues from other Government departments across a wide range of issues.