- A full and enlightening talk
- The Government announces its review
- of the 2005 Gambling Act
- Another way of looking at prescription medication
- How minimum unit pricing is making bottles smaller
- QAAD Directors Annual Report 2019
- Food for thought
- Woodbrooke biennial gathering – July 10th-12th
- Stand up and tell me your story
- Gambling: A busy start to the New Year
- A Friend’s journey to recovery
- What helped me – a Friend’s journey to recovery
- Stereotypes and stigma –
a Friend reflects on how addicts are perceived
- Walk on By: The dilema of responding to addiction amongst the homeless
- Society Lotteries: QAAD’s response to the government’s consultation
- Cannabis and the Adolescent Brain
- Book Review: The Outrun by Amy Liptrot
Churches and faith groups urge the Government to take strong action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs)
QAAD has been working closely with Ecumenical colleagues who share our concern about the damage and distress caused by gambling addiction. Today, the group issued the following statement in response to the Government’s announcement that it is holding a three month consultation on setting a new maximum stake for FOBTs and changes relating to social responsibility measures:
‘Today a group of Churches and faith-based organisations have welcomed the Government’s announcement of a consultation on proposals for changes to gaming machines and social responsibility measures, but warned that the range of options presented for a maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals is too wide.
In a statement, the Salvation Army, The Church of England, The Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church, The Baptist Union of Great Britain and the Church of Scotland, CARE, The Evangelical Alliance, and Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs said:
‘Fixed Odds Betting Terminals present serious problems in society and for local communities, families and individuals. Evidence links them to patterns of addictive behaviour, large financial losses and anti-social and criminal behaviour. While we welcome the Government’s consultation, anything approaching an upper limit of £50 would not go far enough to reduce the negative impact these machines can have on individuals, families and the wider society.
Not only is there a major challenge presented by FOBTs, there are also wider issues associated with gambling that require serious political commitment to address.
We stand by the belief that the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals must be radically reduced from the current maximum stake of £100. We believe that this will help to reduce the potentially enormous financial loss that some people experience, and therefore the consequences including debt, depression and crime. Most of us are committed to a £2 maximum.
We urge the Government to view gambling addiction as a public health issue. The Department of Health must engage with gambling addiction strategically, at the levels of both prevention as well as treatment for individuals.
Evidence shows that problem gambling causes harm to a disproportionate extent in disadvantaged areas and amongst ethnic minorities. Local authorities must be empowered to combat the increase of gaming machines and their clustering in disadvantaged areas.
There is also evidence of a strong association between problem gambling and online play. In this context it is very important that the long awaited multi-operator self-exclusion system for online gambling, first promised by the Government in March 2014, is now implemented as quickly and as robustly as possible.
We are profoundly concerned about the marked growth in gambling advertising and urge the Government to adopt a 9pm watershed which includes the promotion of gambling through sports events.’