Jack Ritchie: Sheffield MP calls on Government to regulate gambling after suicide tragedy

A Sheffield MP is calling on Government ministers to regulate the gambling industry in special debate following the inquiry into Jack Ritchie’s death.

Monday, 21st March 2022, 6:57 pm

Sheffield MP Paul Blomfield will tonight call on the Government to take action as he feels the industry is unwilling to act, following the inquiry into Sheffield man Mr Ritchie’s death aged 24.

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Mr Ritchie died by suicide in 2017, following a day’s intense gambling, years after struggling with a gambling addiction which started when he was 17.

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A Sheffield MP is calling on Government ministers to regulate the gambling industry in special debate on inquiry into Jack Ritchie’s death. Jack is pictured.

A coroner’s report after an inquest said warnings, information and treatment were woefully inadequate and failed to meet Mr Ritchie’s needs and he didn't understand being addicted to gambling wasn't his fault, leading to feelings of shame and hopelessness.

The Prevention of Future Deaths report stated: “The treatment available and received by Jack was insufficient to cure his addiction - this in part was due to a lack of training for medical professionals around the diagnosis and treatment of gambling addiction.”

Mr Blomfield will outline the ways in which he feels the gambling industry fails to protect those at risk of harm, the effect of gambling advertising on children, and the need for affordability checks to protect those gambling regularly.

Mr Blomfield will say tonight: “The tragedy that haunts Jack’s family and so many others must be the catalyst for sweeping change. The responsibility for that change falls to Government and Parliament. The opportunity is presented by the review of the Gambling Act. We have it in our hands to prevent more deaths.

“I hope Government learn from this devastating case, and I look forward to the Minister outlining his plans to stop the industry continuing to gamble with lives.”

Before the debate, he said: “I was very pleased to secure the debate today, to raise the tragic case of Jack Ritchie following the inquiry into his suicide, which the coroner confirmed was caused by his gambling addiction.

“When his parents, Liz and Charles, first came to me, I had little knowledge of the huge harm which gambling can cause, and how dangerous the industry is. The coroner’s seismic ruling in this inquiry, that Jack was failed by the state’s “woefully inadequate” protections, must now spur the Government to act and regulate the industry to prevent future deaths.”