Bishop speaks ahead of Government’s review of gambling stakes
Speaking ahead of the publication of the Government’s review of maximum stakes for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, (FOBTs) the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, said: “I remain deeply concerned that if the Government recommends a higher maximum stake than £2, this will not go far enough to address the harm these machines cause to families and communities. I will be responding to the Government’s consultation.”
The Church of England, and the Bishop of St Albans in particular, have played a key role in campaigning for regulation of the machines sometimes dubbed the “crack cocaine of gambling”. Last year Bishop Alan brought a Private Members’ Bill on the issue to the House of Lords, intending to give local licensing authorities power to control the number of FOBTs on high streets in order to address crime and social disorder and harm to children.
In February 2017, the General Synod of the Church of England passed a rare unanimous motion supporting a reduction in stakes to £2.