This week I was pleased to co-chair a joint meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm and the Peers for Gambling Reform where we were briefed by the authors of the most recent Public Health England report on the impacts of gambling related harm. They highlighted the key finding of their report which included the levels of people at risk of gambling harm, the factors that contribute to becoming at risk, the economic impact of gambling harm and the wider impact on families and society. It’s clear that more needs to be done to regulate the industry to ensure that vulnerable people are not exploited .
On this note, I was fortunate to be drawn for a question in DCMS Orals on Thursday and I took the opportunity to ask the Minister about the upcoming Gambling White Paper. I asked for assurances that it will include protections for those most vulnerable to gambling harm by introducing restrictions to online stakes at the same level as those in land-based gambling venues. The Minister committed to look into the particular dangers of online gambling and confirmed that the Department are carefully considering how online/offline rules could be streamlined. I shall continue to work on this issue with the All-Party Parliamentary Group and with Ministers to ensure that we have suitable regulation in place.
It was a pleasure to visit the Nationwide Building Society community day in Swansea and hear all about their mutual respect campaign and fraud and scam awareness campaigning. It’s great to see Nationwide working for and in the community and building something that people need and value. In a Nationwide survey, they found that 71% of the UK feel that levels of respect in society have declined in the last few years. That’s why they’re working with other organisations committed to creating a more caring and mutually respectful society, in all walks of life. They’re partnering with football organisations to help promote respect among young people on and off the pitch, working with The Diana Award to help train Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in schools to help children understand bullying and how to tackle it, and with a range of organisations to tackle violence against customer-facing staff. We are also seeing an epidemic of scams and frauds targeting people across the UK and the work that Nationwide are doing to raise awareness is helping to instil in customers a sense of stop, think, and check if they receive any unusual messages or emails.
This week we launched our 2021 Everyone Deserves a Christmas campaign. Last year’s Christmas Hamper appeal raised £6,000 and we were so happy to be able to support so many families. This year, as we think the need will be even greater, we aim to raise even more. Basics from the food banks enable survival but at Christmas, everyone should be able to enjoy a little luxury – that’s our goal! Once again, thank you so much to Julie James MS, Swansea City AFC Foundation, Ospreys in the Community, Swansea Council, Morrisons, Bay Studios, Amazon, South Wales Evening Post plus the many other businesses and organisations across Swansea who are getting involved. Please if you are able to donate, visit our Just Giving page. Thank you.
You can keep up to date with Welsh Government announcements and information on their dedicated coronavirus page. As always, if you have any issues or concerns to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – my team and I are here to help.