- March 19, 2018
- Posted by: Mick Antoniw AM
- Category: Featured, Latest News
PROBLEM GAMBLING IN WALES TO BE SCRUTINISED BY CROSS-PARTY GROUP
A Cross Party Group on problem gambling will be established at the National Assembly for Wales tomorrow, with support from Assembly Members from Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives.
The move follows the recent publication of the Chief Medical Officer for Wales’ report, which highlights the rapid growth is health related problems as a result of problem gambling, and calls by Assembly Members and Members of Parliament for tighter controls on gambling.
In 2017 Mick Antoniw, Assembly Member for Pontypridd co-sponsored a report by the University of South Wales, which examined the social and economic impact of increasing levels of gambling in Wales. The report in particular highlighted the damage caused by and the Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) and this week the Gambling Commission has published a report recommending that the maximum stake for FOBTs be reduced to £30.
Mick Antoniw, who has instigated to establishment of the Cross-Party Group said:
“Whilst gambling is not devolved to Wales the consequences of problem gambling impact on a range of devolved policy areas such as health and social care.
“The Cross-Party Group will be an important means of gathering Welsh specific data and a forum for exploring ways in which Welsh Government can intervene to protect people in Wales from the threat of problem gambling.
“I am looking forward to working with Assembly Members and with the cross-party parliamentary group on this issue, which is of growing social concern.”
Commenting of the recommendation by the Gambling Commission to reduce the FOBT maximum stake to £30, Mick Antoniw added:
“The recommendation is hugely disappointing and it appears to me the Commission has given in to the powerful gambling industry lobby.
“Many people were hopeful that the Gambling Commission would grasp the nettle and recommend a maximum stake of around two pounds on FOBTs, which would have had a real impact on reducing the misery these machines cause.”