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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Reaction: UK gambling report
The Gambling Commission survey of the prevalence of gambling and problem gambling suggests there has been little change since 1999. But online gambling and other new forms have higher rates of problem gamblers, sparking concerns about liberalising gambling laws. Politicians, campaigners and church groups give their views on the findings:

PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN'S SPOKESMAN

While the report shows that problem gambling still only affects a small minority of people, it does remain a serious issue and something that has to be addressed. The prime minister said in July that the issue relating to a super casino is whether or not this is the best way of meeting our regeneration objectives. He is obviously sceptical about that.

JEREMY HUNT, SHADOW CULTURE SECRETARY

The biggest growth in problem gambling is on the newer types of gambling, left virtually untouched by the new legislation that came into force this month. Nearly one in 10 of online gamblers has an addiction problem that can lead to indebtedness, family breakdown and crime. So what has Gordon Brown done? He has liberalised gambling advertising, and in his last Budget created a fiscal environment that massively deterred overseas-registered sites from registering in the UK.

DON FOSTER, CULTURE SPOKESMAN, LIB DEMS

While I welcome the fact that this survey shows little change in the overall number of people gambling, we desperately need to deal with the quarter of a million people who have serious gambling problems. The report does raise some serious concerns about the dramatic rise in the number of online gamblers and that's before we've seen the expected increase as a result of the recent liberalisation of gambling advertising.

JOHN GREENWAY, RESPONSIBILITY IN GAMBLING TRUST

Although, thankfully, the number of problem gamblers has not increased, I believe the figure is still too high. The challenge we now face is to prevent people becoming problem gamblers in the first place. The study shows that young single men are a particularly vulnerable group, and we are determined to work with the industry, the Gambling Commission and government to find radical, effective solutions to this issue.

SALVATION ARMY

As a society, we must not pat ourselves on the back that problem gambling rates have not increased, but ask ourselves why so many lives continue to be destroyed by this activity. There are still a quarter of a million too many problem gamblers in this country. Problem gambling destroys lives - it can lead to relationship breakdown, debt, illness, depression and, in extreme cases, even suicide. It is imperative that as a society we find ways to reduce number of problem gamblers.

ANTHEA COX, METHODIST CHURCH

While we are relieved that the number of problem gamblers has not risen, there are still far too many... We want the next study in three years' time to show a fall in the number of problem gamblers. We remain concerned about the increase in online gambling and betting. The study clearly shows that these are high risk for problem gambling.

GARETH WALLACE, EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE

Now is the time to prove whether or not the new Gambling Act will indeed increase problem gambling. The importance of this comprehensive survey must not be allowed to be undermined by the gambling industry and must act as a baseline from which the government's Gambling Act will be held to account. This is no time for complacency. Problem gamblers are not mere statistics.

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