ADPH criticises DCMS Select Committee’s report for not sufficiently prioritising the “safety and wellbeing of the public”
The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) has claimed the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee’s report on gambling advertising falls short of protecting the public.
In its report, published today, 21 December, the DCMS Select Committee has called on the government to do more to protect children and young people from exposure to the gambling market.
The committee has also appealed to the Premier League and other sporting governing bodies to reduce the volume of gambling adverts in stadiums.
The report included a recommendation that the government go beyond the measures outlined in its white paper into the Gambling Act 2005 review, stating there is “scope for further regulation” to curtail gambling-related advertising.
However, despite these recommendations, the ADPH feels the committee’s report does not go far enough and that it fails to “prioritise the safety and wellbeing of the public.”
Greg Fell, ADPH president, said: “The fact that 7,000 gambling messages could be seen during just six matches is proof that the current voluntary agreement isn’t working.
“At best, it just pushes the industry to market their products in other, just as visible, places and at worst, it legitimises something which we know is extremely harmful.”
Fell added that while the government’s white paper and the DCMS Select Committee’s report do address the ADPH’s concerns, more needs to be done on a societal level to better protect children and young people.
He remarked: “We need to look at the role that society and the gambling industry is playing in causing gambling harm and take steps to limit it.
“Children are exposed on a daily basis to harmful gambling products, and the only effective way to stop this exposure is by introducing tighter regulations.
“Unless we take action to protect our children and young people, another generation will grow up to view gambling as a normal activity, and society will continue to see – and feel – its damaging consequences.”
Fell concluded: “Gambling products are created by an industry seeking to make a profit from people losing. Only by focusing on the role of the industry, and on collective responsibility, can we ever hope to effectively protect people and save lives.”