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Gambling Act

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 16 October 2006, Official Report, column 978W, on the Gambling Act, (1) when the three-year period of assessment of the new casinos introduced under the Gambling Act 2005 will begin; and if she will make a statement; (98194)

(2) what the timetable for the assessment of the casino pilot schemes introduced under the Gambling Act 2005 will be; and if she will make a statement.

A scoping study is currently under way, which will establish the methodology for the assessment of the social and economic impact of the new casinos permitted by the Gambling Act 2005. It is due to report in December 2006.

We will undertake baseline studies in 2007 in the relevant areas, once Parliament has approved the areas where the one regional, eight large and eight small casinos will be located. We will then undertake an assessment of the social and economic impact of the new casinos no earlier than three years after the award of the first premises licence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will commission regular studies into the extent of problem gambling in the period (a) running up to and (b) following implementation of the Gambling Act 2005, with particular reference to online gambling. (98340)

The Gambling Commission is currently conducting a gambling prevalence study, which will report in September 2007 and provide a baseline for future studies to be conducted at three-yearly intervals.

The researchers are collecting data on all types of gambling activity, including remote gambling.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what support (a) her Department and (b) the gambling industry provides to gambling support organisations; and whether such support is expected to increase after the implementation of the Gambling Act 2005. (98341)

The Gambling Act places a duty on gambling operators to behave in a socially responsible manner. Licensed operators will be expected to contribute to work on research, education and treatment of problem gambling through their policies, practices and support for other bodies, such as treatment providers.

The industry has established the Responsibility in Gambling Trust to fund this and we have set a target of £3 million each year, once the Act is fully implemented. If more is needed, and not delivered by the industry, the Act has powers to impose a statutory levy. We will use those powers, if necessary.