Church of Scotland welcomes decision to cap betting stakes

The Church of Scotland has joined other churches across the UK to welcome the Government’s decision to cap bets on fixed odds betting terminals, saying unlimited betting can “destroy lives.”

Faith in Politics
The Church and other faith groups are in favour of a £2 maximum stake.

Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Kirk’s Church and Society Council said:

“We welcome the UK Government’s decision today to reduce the stakes of fixed odds betting terminals from a maximum of £100 to £2.

“Unfettered fixed odds betting terminals have the very real capacity to destroy lives.

“This significant stake reduction is not only necessary, but will make a huge difference to the lives of many families within communities across Scotland.

“For those struggling with gambling addiction this does not provide all the answers, there is more to be done, but it is a step in the right direction.”

Today a group of Churches and faith-based organisations have issued a welcome to the Government’s response to the review of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

In a statement, The Salvation Army, The Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church, The Church of Scotland, The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Evangelical Alliance UK, Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs, CARE, The Mission and Public Affairs Council of the Church of England said:

“Fixed odds betting terminals are a serious problem 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. Today we warmly welcome the Government’s commitment to cap maximum stakes on FOBTs at £2”

“In welcoming this proposed action we want to make it clear that in addition to the major challenge presented by FOBTs, there are also wider issues associated with gambling that require serious political commitment to address.

Therefore we note that at this stage new powers to oversee gambling are not been given to local authorities. We ask the Government to revisit this.

“We also note that the Government states that ‘Gambling-related harm is a health issue’, we welcome this but will press for more clarity on this important issue.”

The Church of Scotland along with its four other partner churches in the Joint Public Issues Team has also released a statement welcoming the decision.