Written question – Gambling [21/07/2021]

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what data and research he has on the player base of people playing (a) loot boxes, (b) social casinos, (c) twitch gaming and (d) e-sports betting. (34520)

Tabled on: 16 July 2021

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with (a) the Gambling Commission, and (b) gaming operators on the development of Esports Betting. (34544)
    Tabled on: 16 July 2021
  2. To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made on the potential effect of Esports Betting on gambling-related harm. (34545)
    Tabled on: 16 July 2021

Mr John Whittingdale:

We continue to work with the video games industry, other government departments, and relevant regulatory bodies to ensure games are enjoyed safely. We launched a call for evidence in September to understand players’ experiences with loot boxes and to examine evidence of potential harms. This received over 30,000 responses and we have been working to evaluate fully the evidence gathered. The response will be published in the coming months and will set out preferred actions and potential solutions to any issues identified from the evidence.

The government regularly engages with the Gambling Commission and other bodies to discuss emerging trends, including esports betting. Esports betting is regulated with the same protections as any other sports, and operators must abide by the same regulation and license conditions.

Data from the Gambling Commission’s quarterly surveys shows that in the year to December 2020 9% of adults reported they had ever bet on esports with money or items. Further details can be found at: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/statistics-and-research/publication/taking-a-more-in-depth-look-at-online-gambling#ref-4 The government does not collect statistics on the player base of people opening loot boxes, playing social casino games or accessing twitch gaming streams.

The answer was submitted on 21 Jul 2021 at 14:23.

Level 0 from 19 July

People should continue to follow public health measures to protect one another as all of Scotland prepares to move to Level 0 at 00:01 on Monday 19 July.

Confirming the change to Level 0, the First Minister urged people to adhere to protective measures and sensible precautions to suppress coronavirus (COVID-19) to help create conditions that allow Scotland to move beyond Level 0 on 9 August.

From 00:01 on Monday 19 July, physical distancing in Level 0 will reduce to 1 metre in all indoor public settings and outdoors. Additionally, informal social gatherings of up to 15 people from 15 households will be permitted outdoors without physical distancing. Gatherings of up to 10 people from four households will be permitted in all indoor public settings with 1 metre physical distancing.

Other easings to Level 0 taking effect at that time include:

  • under-12s will no longer count towards the number of households that can gather indoors in public spaces and homes
  • hospitality settings can open till midnight, if their current licence permits that, and customers will no longer be required to pre-book a two-hour slot to go to a pub or restaurant but will still be required to provide contact details to assist Test & Protect
  • up to 200 people will be able to gather at weddings and funerals


Greenock Telegraph 16th July 2021

I have a long list of things that could be done to improve Inverclyde. Don’t we all? Let’s knock down the West College Scotland on Finnart Street and use that site for houses or a new sports centre or a new hospice. And then build a new college down at the East India Harbour but do it properly, knock down the Police station and build a combined emergency services hub for Ambulance, Fire and Rescue, Police and Coastguard on the site of the existing Fire Station at Rue End Street. And once we have done that lets put hydropower stations behind Port Glasgow to power the much neglected Upper Port Industrial Estate, and behind Greenock to power houses in Spango Valley (if we must build houses there) and behind Inverkip to power the Ardgowan distillery, while regenerating the Peatland on Duchal Moor. Run a competition for architects and town designers and see what ideas they could come up with for the Inverkip Power Station site. And while I am on a roll, the coast, the views from there and access to them are for the common good, not for housing and exclusion.

All very aspirational I am sure, but we need big ideas and big ambition that can be honed into practical working solutions and then when we have feasibility studies, we can go seeking finance. And we won’t get them all, but we will learn from each one and get better each time because the alternative is handing out a begging bowl at the end of the line of all the other bidders and losing while learning nothing. I am sick to death of people talking down this area. It’s time to start aggressively promoting Inverclyde as the gold standard destination. The naysayers will have a field day telling us why we can’t, but we need to bin that mindset. Only then can we create a better Inverclyde for us all.