'Gambling is a public health issue'
In a statement to a consultation on proposals for changes to gaming machines and social responsibility measures, the Salvation Army, the Church of England, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church, the Baptist Union and the Church of Scotland, CARE, the Evangelical Alliance and Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs said: ‘Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) present serious problems in society and for local communities, families and individuals. Evidence links them to patterns of addictive behaviour, large financial losses and anti-social and criminal behaviour. While we welcome the Government's consultation, anything approaching an upper limit of £50 would not go far enough to reduce the negative impact these machines can have on individuals, families and the wider society.’ The Government consultation suggests an upper limit of £50, half of the current maximum stake, but the churches and faith-based organisations would like to see a £2 maximum. They also ask the Government to view gambling addiction as a public health issue. The consultation remains open until 23 January 2018.
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