YOU can go into a betting shop and bet £100 a time on an FOBT (Fixed Odds Betting Terminal).
FOBTs are known as the crack cocaine of gambling.
These machines are recognised to encourage problem gambling, which then cost over £1bn a year to our public services, the NHS, and the welfare and criminal justice systems.
The Gambling Commission has shown how the UK’s problem gambling population grew by 50% in the three years to 2015.
Over 430,000 people were identified as problem gamblers, and up to a third used FOBTs.
In 2016 the Local Government Association called for a reduction to £2 a play.
They also echoed concerns of councils that high streets will have clusters of betting shops, as other shops close down.
Locally, our councils in Cheshire, Warrington and Halton have supported proposals for a new limit of £2 for each play.
But surprisingly the Cheshire Pension Fund, the pension fund for local government, housing and education employees keeps investing in gaming companies.
This is shown in the limited information on the website, which shows only a small part of the total investments of over £4bn.
The majority is managed by fund managers in London and is not shown in detail.
Some of us who are pensioners of the fund say that Cheshire Pension Fund does not consider the potential impacts on our communities, and our families.
It does not invest wisely in our futures, and sadly our families and grandchildren will suffer.
Cheshire Pension Fund currently invests in gambling, tobacco, fracking, arms companies, and a range of unethical companies and infamous tax avoiders.
The largest single investment of over £55m is in Amazon, supposedly based in Luxembourg to avoid UK corporation tax.
If tax is not paid properly, Government at all levels have less to spend and we end up with more austerity.
Theresa May is supposed to be shutting down tax loop-holes
Many of these CPF investments actually contradict the work of the local councils in health, housing and social care.
We say this is damaging, and that our fund should invest ethically.
Yet the fund has no annual general meeting to allow such views to be heard.
Cancelling all investments in gaming and gambling would be a start.
Looking at all investments to see their full ethical and community impact would be the next long overdue step. ●
Matt Neve, 32