Wednesday 8 January 2014

Lucas: Government cares more about corporate gambling industry than its victims

Ahead of today’s parliamentary debate on fixed odds betting terminals, Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:
The rapid spread of fixed odds terminals has created serious gambling problems, especially in communities already struggling with poverty.  It’s particularly worrying that some betting shops are putting pressure on staff to encourage their increased use.
I’ve consistently opposed fixed odds betting terminals, and last year wrote to the Government calling for a review of the Gambling Act.

In my constituency, there are an estimated 70 machines, and in Brighton and Hove £270 million was gambled on them last year.

Local councils need greater powers to prevent the proliferation , and maximum stakes should be drastically reduced.  The Government’s hesitation in taking serious action suggests that it cares more about the interests of the corporate gambling industry than the people being targeted and dragged into a spiral of addiction and even greater deprivation.


trevor said...

I Think That permitting the sale of cigarettes despite knowing that it is of no benefit to the public is the best example of political betrayal.
The Putting of Profit before Principle and the Promotion of the Idea That Money as Gain Is More Important Than Anything Else.
Also The Creation of a system in which the democratically elected Reps Decide for themselves Who Can Exploit the Public for profit and Who Can't?
and then you end up with the system we have now in which people are allowed by the government to use tobacco as a means of making a Living.
and even when it is proved that it is a bad idea and only serves to turn the public into slaves of cigarettes and destroy their health causing them to die from diseases such as cancer
amazingly the government overlook that and continue to allow one people to exploit another all for the sake of profit and tax revenue.
and then every December 25th we are taught to spend spend spend spend in the name of Christianity
and yet the second important rule of Christianity is that we love our fellow humans.
and can we really be doing that when we are deliberately enticing and teaching one another to do unnatural things like smoking?
we are meant to be a Christian Nation but yet by our actions we show that we are anything but Christians.
and then you have British mp's that stand up and condemn foreigners for example Who are Muslims
and we are meant to be Christians and yet look at What We Do!
if we will permit gambling machines that ruin the public financially then it is only natural that we permit the sale of cigarettes that take away the money out of the public's pockets and give them in return cancer and death.
shame on Britain!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am not an expert on gambling, but "fixed odds" means that the bettings shops are guaranteed to "win" by a very small percentage of the overall amount that people put into these machines, and that although there will always be some "winners" among those who gamble on them, punters will always lose out overall.
To try to understand the figures involved, I had a look online at the report of the latest results published by William Hill Plc, Britain's biggest bookmaking company (so big that since May 2013 they became one of the FTSE 100 companies!). For the quarter to the end of September 2013, they reported gross winnings for each betting shop machine of £848 per week. They have to pay Machine Games Duty on this of 20%, so the government receives around £170 per machine per week, leaving William Hill's with around £680 profit per machine per week.
Yes, the effects of gambling on the people who can't afford to lose the money they put into these machines should be restricted in the ways which Caroline Lucas suggests, but both the betting shop companies and the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be keen to hold onto their "winnings".

trevor said...

exactly Anon,
the same system that allows the cigarette business to exploit the public by means of cigarettes.