Labour made a mistake in relaxing Britain’s gambling laws

Ever since the Labour Government relaxed our gambling laws in 2005 our betting shops have been thriving. William Hill revealed that the gross profit they make from Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (either slot or virtual roulette machines with maximum payouts of £500 per bet) has been steadily increasing. From making £648 per week per machine in 2007, it has risen to making £924 per week per machine. We are seeing betting shops on our high streets in increasing numbers. The Advertising Standards Authority has branded advertisements by UK bookmakers as socially irresponsible, likely to mislead and questioned the advertisements truthfulness and honesty. This Conservative Government cares about cutting taxes and lowering our debt, both worthy issues, but surely we should protect people from addictions and being preyed upon by big companies? Shadow Culture Secretary Harriet Harman has admitted the Labour Government was wrong to relax gambling laws. She recently recently said, “I have got the most heart-rending letters and emails and calls that I’ve ever had in 30 years of being an MP, just saying, ‘Please, do something about this. It’s ruined my life, it’s ruined my family, it’s really dangerous’. And the problem is, it’s getting worse and that’s why we need the law changed so that something can be done about it.””

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