Gambling put under scrutiny
MPs to examine impact of betting
The MP for Rutherglen and Cambuslang has urged residents to have their views on “the crack cocaine of gambling.”
Margaret Ferrier has been confirmed as a member of an All Party Group on controversial fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT).
She will join a panel of other MPs to question and gather evidence from witnesses.
In a series of hearings, the inquiry will be taking oral evidence from the range of stakeholders in the FOBT debate from gambling addiction experts and FOBT users, to regulators, bookmaker chief executives and their representatives.
The inquiry is also welcoming written submissions from interested parties.
And Ms Ferrier is encouraging constituents and organisations with views on the matter to participate in this review.
In February, the Reformer reported that eight bookmakers on Rutherglen and Cambuslang Main Streets took in £1.2million a year in FOBTs.
Using this evidence, the group will publish a report setting out their findings early in 2017.
Ms Ferrier said: “Gambling addiction blights communities and households across my constituency, and the UK.
“This inquiry will allow us to take a fresh look at the impact of FOBTs on our communities – not only in Scotland, but across the whole of the UK.
“The government has a duty of care to protect the vulnerable, and the aim of this inquiry is to provide a thorough and comprehensive analysis to enable them to do just that.
“It is time for a proper look to be taken at the impact of these machines on all our communities.”
Written submissions should be sent to margaret. ferrier. mp@ parliament.uk by July 31.
Campaigners have accused bookies of “clustering” in areas of high unemployment and deprivation.
Members of the betting industry insist steps are taken to prevent customers gambling too much on the machines.