Wales Bill to clamp down on gaming machines

The Wales Bill reached yesterday the last stages of its journey through the Commons.

Labour and Plaid Cymru will make a final-hour bid to win the Assembly new powers to regulate the number of gaming machines on a premise, via the Wales Bill.

UK.- Labour and Plaid Cymru are to make a final-hour bid to win the Assembly new powers to regulate the number of gaming machines on a premises. The Wales Bill reaches the last stages of its journey through the Commons ask Labour seeks to amend the legislation to give the Assembly the new power.

As per the Wales Bill AMs will have new freedoms, including the ability to change the name of the Assembly, increase the number of members and alter how they are elected. Furthermore, Labour and Plaid will make a last-ditch attempt to transfer further powers before the Bill moves on to the House of Lords.

Shadow Welsh Secretary and Newport West Labour MP, Paul Flynn, described his hopes that power over gaming machines would allow the Assembly to act as a “trailblazer” which the rest of the United Kingdom could follow.

“It’s a way of exploiting those who are vulnerable and subjected to gambling addictions,” said Flynn. “People get a hit. It’s an addiction. They are always put in areas of high unemployment and places where people who are out of work normally frequent. It’s cynical exploitation of human weakness. We’re against that.”

In addition, regarding the push for powers over betting terminals, a Welsh Government spokesman said: “We have made clear our concerns about the social consequences of the growth of gambling.”

On the other hand, the right-leaning Institute of Economic Affairs last week claimed there was “moral panic” about fixed-odds betting terminals and blamed “ignorance and misinformation”, adding that “There is no evidence that the machines have triggered increases in gambling addiction and contrary to popular belief, there has not been a ‘proliferation’ of betting shops in recent years.”