I took this from a Premier Reports Article that crossed my twitter feed. It's an interesting article on the proposal to relax the UK's gambling laws. I know that this is an issue that divides and brings together Christian groups. I'd be interested to hear thoughts and view points - it could be something that the churches discuss through our Public Issues Network if there is a strong will about the points raised below.
Church groups are sending out a warning to the government against relaxing the UK's gambling laws any further. It's after an influential Commons Culture Committee report has recommended scrapping the limit on the number of high-stake gambling machines that can be licensed to high street shops and strict rules which limit the spread of casinos.
Churches including the Methodist and Quakers say doing so could trigger a surge in gambling addictions. The cross-party of MPs have also said it should be for local councils to decide the location of casinos, rather than the Government. But Roy Ramm, who's on the National Casino Industry Forum has said he supports the proposals. He said: "I think it's a bit shambolic and I think that the final days of the wash up of the last administration when this act went through really didn't do the law any favours. "I'm not sure it's anybody's specific fault but this now needs to be rectified."
However, Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs are claiming that further deregulating an industry that is already causing massive damage to our communities will have a detrimental affect. Organisation spokeswoman Helena Chambers tells Premier she believes the MPs behind report haven't considered the consequences of liberalising gambling laws further will have on socially deprived communites.
MPs are also calling for specific research into the risks of problem gambling among children and stressed rules to protect vulnerable groups should be rigorously enforced.
Full article with audio links can be found here - http://www.premier.org.uk/news/current/Christians%20against%20norma...
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