Newly appointed DCMS Secretary Lucy Frazer has outlined that the views of people affected by gambling-related suicides should be included in the UK’s ongoing gambling reform.
Addressing industry reform advocacy group Gambling with Lives three weeks into her DCMS leadership tenure, Frazer stated that the organisation is an example of ‘tireless and devoted champions’ leading a campaign that has helped shape the Gambling Act review.
Taking on DCMS agenda, Frazer stated that she was struck by the harrowing stories of families whose lives have been devasted by gambling-related suicides.
“I’ve only been Culture Secretary for three weeks, meeting all of you and hearing your experiences was one of the first things I wanted to do in this role,” Frazer remarked
“It’s so important to hear directly from families who have been touched by these issues, and I really value your input when looking at gambling reform.”
Frazer stated that she was drawn by the diverse experiences of gambling harms outlined by individuals in the “Gambling Harm Time for Action” report submitted to the House of Lords and by participants of the Lived Experience Advisory Panel.
Of consequence, the minister cited that the government was ready to tackle gambling’s darkest remits with regards to suicide, addiction and self-harm.
“I do want to give these issues justice and take some time to make sure that I do meet with you and others to really understand the issues. I am particularly conscious of the vulnerability of young people.”
DCMS is aware of frustrations at the continued delay of the White Paper, which remains an ‘absolute priority’ for PM Rishi Sunak. As such, Frazer concluded that the government will deliver on comprehensive gambling reforms in which “nearly every area of gambling policy is in scope, and I want to make sure your views are heard and reflected.”
“The White Paper when it is published will not be the last word on reform. I’m really keen to keep talking to you all, and to make sure we understand the drivers of gambling harm and how we can protect the public.”
This week the UK Gambling Commission, announced that it had launched a new consultation on LCCP duties, in which it will examine whether operators should notify of “when they become aware that a customer who has gambled with them has died by suicide”.