Inverclyde’s MSP and MP declared war on gambling addiction

The attack on FOBTs comes after the the Scottish Parliament gained powers over controversial gaming machines.

Scotland.- Inverclyde’s MSP and MP launched a an attack on gambling addiction , right after the Scottish Parliament gained powers over controversial gaming machines.

Since Holyrood can now legislate on the likes of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling, the SNP’s Stuart McMillan intends to exploit the Scottish Parliament’s newly acquired power and he has already written to Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, on the matter.

“Scotland has accrued additional powers and one of these powers concerns FOBTs,” declared McMillan.“I have campaigned on this issue for some time and as a result of my lobbying, I was successful in this issue being included in the then-Scotland Bill. Fixed odds terminals blight communities across our country and at the moment £100 (US$ 144.54) can be blown on a 20-second spin. I have written to the First Minister to establish what actions the Scottish Government will be taking to reduce the proliferation of these machines in bookmakers’ facilities in our high streets. I appreciate that this new power is limited in scope, however I believe it can be a step in the right direction in assisting communities including my own constituency of Inverclyde.”

In the meantime, his party colleague Ronnie Cowan made clear his intention of bringing the matter of damage caused by gambling before a Westminster committee on FOBTs. “They cannot avoid or stall on their responsibility and commitment to provide the support for those hit by gambling related harm and distance their links when it comes to dealing with the gambling industry,” said Cowan.