Thursday, 25 May 2017


Football commentator and former international John Hartson had the guts to expose the details of his addiction to gambling on Radio 4's Money Box Live yesterday. He made the point that while losing thousands of pounds caused him financial difficulties, similar sums would spell disaster for a working man who earned a fraction of the income of a sporting superstar.

Only an effort by an addict him- or herself, with the aid of organisations like Gamblers Anonymous, may produce a lasting cure as has been achieved by Mr Hartson. However, it must surely be right to reduce the temptations to gamble and in particular make it less easy to gamble away large sums of money very quickly. Fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) do just this. As a parliamentary candidate, I endorse the campaign by amusement machine operators at least to drastically cut the stakes which may be placed on FOBTs and I trust my fellow-candidates have taken the same stance.

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