07 November 2018, The Tablet

Betting ban delay is a moral disgrace


If a high street retailer was offering a product which made people ill, a prudent government would step in and ban it. That should be just as true if the illness in question was mental rather than physical. Indeed the government has declared its commitment to giving mental health equal priority to other forms of healthcare. The government, that is to say, minus the Treasury.

Witness its extraordinary and widely criticised decision to postpone a ban on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) which allow gamblers to stake more than £2 at a time. The harm attributed to the present limit of £100 is enormous. FOBT has been called “the crack cocaine of the gambling world”.

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