The Salvation Army has campaigned on the issue of gambling for more than 10 years. We hold regular meetings with government ministers on this issue and sit on the Gambling Commission's community liaison group.Gareth Wallace, spokesman for The Salvation Army, said in response to the Minister Helen Grant's announcement on fixed odds betting machines: "Today's announcement of a voluntary ceiling of £50 for fixed odds betting machines is welcome but we believe a radical cut to no more than £10 per stake is necessary to stop problem gamblers from losing life-altering amounts of money. The proposal for account-based or over-the-counter betting could be beneficial because this enables breaks in play. "Fixed odds betting terminals, which are popping up in betting shops across the country, are one of the most addictive forms of gambling and enable people to bet £100 every 20 seconds. "We welcome the government's promise to look at measures which include players being able to pre-set limits on time and money per gambling session before they start. Any measures that remind players of how quickly they are losing money could help reduce problem gambling. "Although Eric Pickles has announced that his department will consult on providing greater powers for local communities, we believe that a new planning category is necessary to ensure betting shops are no longer counted alongside financial services such as banks. "We also call from more powers to reduce clustering of betting shops in high streets, further research into FOBT machines, including their density, location and social impact, and more government-funded help to treat people with gambling additions."
For interviews, please contact: Sophie Docker, Media Office, The Salvation Army: 0207 367 4517/0203 657 7555 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org