Betting sharks curbed
THE 13 years since Labour passed the shameful 2005 Gambling Act have established beyond any doubt the pernicious evil of fixed odds betting terminals.
As devastating research by that family champion Iain Duncan Smith proved, they have significantly contributed to problem gambling, violent crime, indebtedness and family breakdown. So as the paper which campaigned passionately against machines so addictive they are compared to crack cocaine, the Mail emphatically welcomes Culture Secretary Matt Hancock’s decision to slash the maximum bet, currently £100, to just £2 (though regrettably, this long overdue reform will not come into force until 2020).
Mr Hancock and Theresa May also deserve great credit for fighting off opposition from a penny-pinching Chancellor and Treasury officials moaning – shortsightedly – about the potential loss of tax revenues.
They also stood up to intense lobbying by rapacious bookmakers scaremongering about potential job losses.
With further gambling curbs on the cards, there is every hope that the far-reaching malaise unleashed by Tony Blair in the name of liberalisation can now be reversed.
And if ministers want to know where to look next, they should consider how children are bombarded day after day with gambling adverts on pre-watershed TV and social media. HOW the 6,200 killers, sex attackers and other foreign criminals walking the streets of this country today after release from prison must long for a Labour government. It’s bad enough they are fighting off deportation with an army of human rights lawyers, but with Diane ‘no immigration controls’ Abbott in charge of the Home Office, they’d have every expectation of staying in Britain for ever.