Join date: May 19, 2022


Because of the number of departments involved, there has to be a department with primary responsibility for gambling. Until 2001, that was the Home Office; sincethen it has been DCMS.A number of witnesses have suggested to us that primary responsibility should be transferred to DHSC. They include Dr Wardle and Professor Orford

Dr van der Gaag thought that a public health approach was “critical”, and drew our attention to the fact that in New Zealand having the Ministryof Health “playing a central role in driving that strategy forward has been one of the reasons for its success.”330 Marc Etches, the Chief Executive of GambleAware, concededthat there had been “goodjoint working” betweenDCMS and DHSC,but thought that “what would really be a gamechanger is the Government of the day recognising that the harms that arise from gamblingare a health issue.”331 Similar arguments have recently been advanced by the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee for overall responsibility for drugs policy to move from the Home Office to DHSC.332 However we think, especially from what was said by the Secretaryof State for Health,333 that the Government do in fact already recognise that gambling harms are a health issue. In their final evidence, Ministerswrote: “Problem gambling is indeed a health issue, which is why the Department of Health and Social Care leads on providing access to NHS treatment and advice, and developing the research and evidence base … The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Health and Social Care co-chair a quarterly cross-government and third sector official-level steeringgroup to coordinate and share activities on research, educationand treatment.”

Markus Weber

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