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JOIN US FOR THE RE-DEDICATION EVENT -WATCH OUR LIVESTREAM BELOW AT NOON

THE REDEDICATION In 1381, England was dedicated to Mary by King Richard II and was 'set apart for her among the nations. This year, the Christians of England are called to make a personal dedication to Mary, taking up her example as Christ’s first disciple. History...

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Christians want tough rules for fixed-odd betting machines

A Christian advocacy group has joined nearly two thirds of MPs in putting pressure on the government to clampdown on betting machines.

A poll of 150 MPs, commissioned by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, this week revealed that 72 per cent of MPs want tougher regulations on high stake FOBT machines.

In response to the poll Christian Action Research & Education (CARE) said the government must stop stalling on the issue and take urgent action to reduce the maximum stake on fixed odd betting terminals (FOBTs), often termed the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling.

“This polling is extremely encouraging and shows there is real appetite for action on FOBTs from MPs all across the House of Commons,” said CARE Chief Executive Nola Leach.

According to the results, 81 per cent of MPs also say FOBTs are having a negative effect on society and 67 per cent say the current maximum stake on FOBTs is too high.

54 per cent of Conservative MPs want the government to introduce stronger regulations while 91 per cent of Labour MPs and 85 per cent of SNP MPs also believe the government must do more.

It comes as a group of cross-party MPs have launched an attempt to introduce stricter controls of betting machines across the country.

The new Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group will be chaired by Labour MP Carolyn Harris and will scrutinise the problems being caused by these machines.

“Especially noteworthy is the fact that a majority of Conservative MPs polled want action to be taken and this puts real pressure on the government to act,” explained Ms Leach.

She described FOBTs as socially destructive and a genuine social menace because of the highly toxic combination of high-speed play and high maximum stake that encourages addiction and can result in devastating consequences. “It is all too easy for people to lose vast sums of money in just one hour on these machines and we already know they are often clustered in poorer areas,” she said.

“Reducing the maximum stake on FOBTs in the first instance would help limit the harm they cause to people’s lives. It would also ensure FOBTs are a far more benign form of entertainment and we would urge the government to stop stalling and take more robust action to curb these highly addictive machines.”

Picture: A Punter makes out a betting slip. (Chris Radburn/PA).

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OTHER NEWS

JOIN US FOR THE RE-DEDICATION EVENT -WATCH OUR LIVESTREAM BELOW AT NOON

THE REDEDICATION In 1381, England was dedicated to Mary by King Richard II and was 'set apart for her among the nations. This year, the Christians of England are called to make a personal dedication to Mary, taking up her example as Christ’s first disciple. History...

Prayers to say for the rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry

At noon today (Sunday, 29 March), England will be rededicated as the Dowry of Mary. While celebrations have been scaled back for obvious reasons, Catholics can still make join in at home by saying the prayers below. You can say the prayers at any time of day, although...

Online Mass and CAFOD are helping fill the holes left in our Sundays

With the coronavirus pandemic causing Masses across the country to be cancelled, there is now a large demand for virtual worship – and Catholic charity CAFOD hopes its weekly ‘Children’s Liturgy Live!’ will inspire families across the UK after the first session saw...

Catholic Churches in Europe opened to fight COVID-19

Catholic dioceses and religious orders across Europe are offering to turn church facilities into spaces needed for health care or housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Church leaders throughout Europe have been struggling to maintain Catholic religious devotions...

CAFOD takes its activities online as world stays home

With the onset of the coronavirus leaving many spending more time inside, organisations have swung into action moving their activities online, including UK charity CAFOD, which hopes its digital events and resources will unite international communities. The Covid-19...