Frazer, who was appointed to the role of culture secretary last month, said that enticements played a role in encouraging those who were experiencing problem gambling behaviours to continue betting.
She added that she had recently attended a meeting with the lived experience advisory council, and had read the House of Lords’ Gambling Harm Time for Action report, which allowed her to see the effects of enticements on those experiencing problem gambling.
“I heard some really moving stories and I am struck by how diverse their experiences were,” said Frazer. “One person had lost over £1m. Another never bet more than £1 on a spin.
“One young man had started gambling at the age of eleven. Many tried to self-exclude but found the enticements drawing them back in just too difficult.”
White paper delays
Frazer also acknowledged the multiple delays to the publication to the upcoming Gambling Act Review white paper, the Whitehall policy document which will point the way to future legislative reform.
“I also wanted to say that I know it must be very frustrating to have yet another ministerial team leading the government’s work on gambling, and I know that you might be worried about further delays to the white paper,” said the minister.
“So let me reassure you that white paper is an absolute priority for me, and for the Prime Minister, and we are committed to publishing it soon.”
Although the publication of the white paper is highly anticipated, Frazer hinted that she would need time to fully explore the brief.
“And though 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,” she said. “I am particularly conscious of the vulnerability of young people.”
“And of course you know very well, gambling doesn’t just destroy the lives of the gamblers themselves, it has a devastating impact on their loved ones.”
Gambling with Lives
Gambling with Lives had invited the minister to speak at a House of Commons event aimed at emphasising the negative effects of gambling on mental health and lobbying for regulatory reform.
“There will be at least another gambling-related death today, there was one yesterday and will be one tomorrow,” said co-founder of the organisation Liz Ritchie, speaking at the event.