[holding answer 10 September 2007]: Problem gambling services in Great Britain are mainly funded by the gambling industry, principally through the Responsibility in Gambling Trust (RiGT). The Government do not fund dedicated problem gambling services, but anybody with a gambling problem who seeks help from the NHS will be offered support and, if necessary, treatment. In the past five years, the industry has contributed the following amounts to RiGT:
Amount (£) 2006-07 3,032,689 2005-06 2,274,567 2004-05 2,281,527 2003-04 1,269,852 2002-03 765,659
British-licensed gambling operators are now required by the Gambling Commission to contribute to problem gambling education, prevention and treatment. I have the power under the Gambling Act 2005 to impose a statutory social responsibility levy on the gambling industry and I will not hesitate to use this if the evidence demands it.
[holding answer 10 September 2007]: I welcome any steps the gambling industry takes to advertise in a socially responsible way. I am pleased that the British gambling industry has adopted a voluntary code for socially responsible advertising which requires the inclusion of a ‘signpost’ to the Responsibility in Gambling Trust’s (RiGT) public awareness website, www.gambleaware.co.uk. It is up to advertisers if they wish also to include an appropriate helpline number for problem gamblers. I understand that RiGT is currently assessing the effectiveness of phone helplines in raising public awareness of gambling issues and I look forward to seeing the results of their work.