Scores of Commons staff gagging deals
Don’t ignore the peril that hides online
THE Government is right that problem gambling devastates lives.
But in singling out betting shops, it risks ignoring the other “social blight” causing untold harm – largely out of sight.
The explosion in online gambling has been dramatic, and worrying, in equal measure.
Watch any sport on commercial TV and you’re bombarded with adverts to gamble, often right now, and with “free” bets thrown in. It’s made to look fun and, for most people, BOSSES at the Commons have used scores of gagging deals when settling employment disputes with staff.
There have been 53 settlement agreements which include confidentiality clauses in the past five years, the Commons Commission has revealed. Labour MP it will be. But it also risks delivering the drug to gambling addicts wherever they are, with precious few checks.
Owners of betting shops bear a lot of the blame for failing to keep their house in order.
The bookies used to be where you’d have a flutter on horses but owners got greedy and Justin Madders’ official question led to the Commission disclosing the figures.
He claimed they raise “serious questions about the culture operating in Parliament”.
In a written response for the Commission, Lib Dem MP Tom Brake said reasons for confidentiality
used fixed odds betting terminals as a colossal money spinner.
But ministers must act on their vague commitments to get tough with online operators too.
After all, these firms know – or should do – exactly who their customers are, their circumstances and how much they are gambling at any second.
Yet odds are we’ll have to wait painfully too long before real action happens. clauses include deterring further complaints.
He said other grounds are “supporting an individual to leave in a dignified manner” and “not publicly undermining managers”.
Mr Brake added: “Confidentiality clauses are intended to protect the employer and the employee.” It recently emerged Angus Sinclair, a former aide to Commons Speaker John Bercow, was paid £86,250 in 2010 as part of a deal requiring him to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the Speaker’s alleged behaviour.
Mr Bercow has denied all claims of bullying.