Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Church Unity on Gambling

As I have already posted, I am glad and proud to be a Methodist when the Methodist Church, with others, has been so influential in cancelling the proposed supercasino for Manchester, which would have caused much misery in that city. It has been good to see the way that the Methodist Church with the Salvation Army have been working to change the laws on gambling, so I am very dismayed to learn that the law will now allow the betting shops to open on Good Friday, even though there will be no horse racing. Very often it is those who can ill afford to lose money who become addicted to gambling, with dire consequencies. You can read more of this in Richard Hall's post (http://theconnexion.net/wp/?p=3476).

This Labour Government has much to answer for and that includes its advocate of all-night opening for pubs which has done nothing to curb binge drinking but has increased drink-related crime between 3am and 6am and the associated neighbourhood diturbances - but that's another story.

None of us wants our Methodist Church and its people to be known as killjoys (which is the opposite of the truth!) and we are very grateful to our leaders who make such difficult decisions ou our behalf.

The Anglican Church is also showing its concern about the detrimental effects that gambling can have and, speaking on their behalf is a good friend of mine Philip Giddings. So I'm repeating what I posted as a comment, in case it was overlooked earlier:-


Calls for the gambling industry to do more to help fund treatment for problem gamblers were made by the Church of England this week. As the Government abandoned plans for a supercasino in Manchester, Dr Philip Giddings, chairman of the Church’s Mission and Public Affairs Council, asked politicians to go a step further – by warning the £10-billion-a-year gambling industry that it could be subject to a statutory levy to go towards the care of problem gamblers. Out of 3,800 licensed operators, just 360 have contributed to the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, Dr Giddings said. ‘The Government has eased restrictions on their industry, so the least they could do is to show responsibility in funding research into and treatment of the side-effects.’

Source: Christian Today (28/2) "

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