Tory delay on fixed odds betting cap a 'unacceptable' - Paul Sweeney
The Glasgow North East MP hit out at the Government's decision to delay the implantation of a cap on the controversial gambling terminals, which have been likened to 'crack cocaine' by critics.
Under Tory plans, the cap will now be delayed from April till October 2019.
The decision has caused Tory Minister Tracey Crouch to resign, while Mr. Sweeney has urged the government to U-turn on the decision.
“The Tory delay on the implementation of new restrictions on problem fixed odds betting machines has cost them a minister in Tracy Crouch and will cost people across Scotland." he said, adding: “A delay until October 2019 from the proposed implementation in April next year just means more misery."
The Labour MP pointed to figures from research firm, Cebr, which show Glasgow has the highest level of social harm from the machines, costing the city around £27m per year, £7m more than the second worst hit city, Birmingham.
“Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are highly addictive games machines which can do huge harm very quickly - they are not the traditional fruit machine-style 'puggy' sitting in the pub corner." Sweeney added.
“They have been rightly dubbed the 'crack cocaine' of gambling. There have been many cases of people rapidly descending into destitution and committing suicide as a result of their addiction."
“The Tory Government must immediately reverse this decision, which risks doing huge social harm to Glasgow and the whole country.”
Tory Minister Jeremy Wright has denied that the Government was "letting the gambling industry off the hook", stating: “We are taking decisive action to ensure that we have a responsible gambling industry that protects the most vulnerable in our society.”