No changes in Law on High-Stakes Gambling Machines

Despite the shared concerns of the campaign group the government decided that they will not vote on more stringent regulations on high-stakes gambling machines.

This group was formed in order to make gambling fairer. They warned the government that there are easily available machines which allow people to place bets of up to £100 for a potential payout of £500. This makes them think they may earn easy money and because of this they become addicted to gambling.

Hugh Robertson, the culture minister, said he does not find enough evidence on what the group claimed. Because of him the Responsible Gambling Trust now undertakes a study on the machines with the aim to find out if such a problem really exists or not.

“This is one of those quite tricky areas where common sense suggests there is a major problem but there is a lack of evidence to back this up,” he claimed.

However, not only the Campaign for Fairer Gambling but also some of the MP’s believe the evidence is just enough so that the law changes.

In the words of labour MP Kelvin Hopkins the high-stakes betting machines are “the crack cocaine of problem gambling”.

On the other hand, a study of the Commons Culture Media and Sport Select Committee showed just the opposite- that the regulation on these machines should be loosened.

In response to this the Campaign for Fairer Gambling stated an opinion that such machines should be seen only in casinos.

The plans of the campaign point out that each shop should be permitted to have only one machine and the maximum stake for machines in betting shops should be £2. As a result people will be discouraged and will not gamble that much.

The government has no intentions to change the current situation so bookmakers will keep on earning money in the same way they do now.

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UK Gambling Regulations – Reduced and Simplified

According to a Commons culture committee’s report, the current gambling legislation has failed to keep up with the changes in culture and society, it is not adequate enough and some changes are required. The casinos and betting shops have very tight rights now, and MPs say that they should be allowed more slot machines, as well as the Gambling Commission should charge them less.

The last piece of legislation related to gambling is the 2005 Gambling act, which is now considered to be too “puritanical”. This Act was released, because the government was thinking of a way to facilitate the spread of casinos, however back in 2005 it faced strong public opposition and some changes were made, so no “Las Vegas” was materialised in Britain.

MPs called for more power to be given to local councils, when it comes to casinos. Currently, this is under the control of the Gambling commission, which was created by the 2005 Act. However they are considered too bureaucratic and expensive, which may put off entrepreneurs from investing in the gambling business.

John Whittingdale, the Conversative MP who heads the Commons culture committee, said that we need to be aware of the problems gambling can create, but there is a great need of new regulations, which should be simplified, a she believes that the the ‘reluctantly permissive’ tone of gambling legislation over the last 50 years now looks outdated.

Opponents have said that a relaxation of the law may pose a risk to some vulnerable people. Jake Brindell, a former gambling addict who runs a website to provide help other with gambling addictions, said it would bring in more money, but so-called problem gamblers would “suffer”.

“The more opportunities people have got to gamble, the more people are going to gamble,” concluded Jake.