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Statement: Government Announcement on Gambling

30 April 2014 - 1:37pm
| by Gaby

The Salvation Army has campaigned on the issue of gambling for more than 10 years. We hold regular meetings with government ministers on this issue and sit on the Gambling Commission's community liaison group.    

Gareth Wallace, spokesman for The Salvation Army, said in response to the Minister Helen Grant's announcement on fixed odds betting machines: 
"Today's announcement of a voluntary ceiling of £50 for fixed odds betting machines is welcome but we believe a radical cut to no more than £10 per stake is necessary to stop problem gamblers from losing life-altering amounts of money.  The proposal for account-based or over-the-counter betting could be beneficial because this enables breaks in play. 
"Fixed odds betting terminals, which are popping up in betting shops across the country, are one of the most addictive forms of gambling and enable people to bet £100 every 20 seconds. 
"We welcome the government's promise to look at measures which include players being able to pre-set limits on time and money per gambling session before they start. Any measures that remind players of how quickly they are losing money could help reduce problem gambling.                                     
"Although Eric Pickles has announced that his department will consult on providing greater powers for local communities, we believe that a new planning category is necessary to ensure betting shops are no longer counted alongside financial services such as banks.  
"We also call from more powers to reduce clustering of betting shops in high streets, further research into FOBT machines, including their density, location and social impact, and more government-funded help to treat people with gambling additions."

Read Andy's gambling addiction story


For interviews, please contact: Sophie Docker, Media Office, The Salvation Army: 0207 367 4517/0203 657 7555 or


Submitted by David on

The Army is to be commended for its tireless efforts to combat an activity which destroys the lives of individuals and families. Even a £10 stake is a great deal of money for some families.

Fight the good fight.

Submitted by ian.idb.bartlet... on

I think that the salvation army is doing a good job it is very important that Christians have a voice that can be heard in the corridors of power. I would also like it if there was a locking/unlocking device fitted on every FOBT so that those that are under age cannot gain access at the point of play. Gambling commission figures show that in 2009 109,000 children entered a bookmakers that figure increased by 2013 to 588,000 and 27,000 were stopped after placing a bet, how many got through the net? Research shows that young people will be attracted to enter a premises and play Machines (FOBTs)when they see them.
The bookmakers have a system which is voluntary where they can blank out a screen, if they think some one is under age but this system is flawed, because it is down to an individuals interpretation of someone's age. in other words guessing. Install a locking system, we are already seeing the damage done for not already doing so.
Ian Bartlett Founder Gamserve.

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