The Prime Minister has agreed to look at a proposal of using money lying in dormant betting accounts to help gambling addicts.
UK.- Inverclyde’s MP, SNP’s Ronnie Cowan, asked PM David Cameron if it was possible to discuss an initiative to use money lying in dormant betting accounts to help people addicted to gambling and the Prime Minister has pledged to look into the idea.
Mr Cowan had previously written to chancellor George Osborne regarding the matter. Damian Hinds MP, exchequer secretary to the treasury replied saying that officials are examining his proposal.
The issue raised concern after figures from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling group suggested that there are more than 650 people in Inverclyde hooked on highly-addictive fixed-odds betting terminals resulting in £60million (86.31m) being wagered on them per year. Mr Cowan thinks money from dormant betting accounts should be used to help problem gamblers and others whose lives have been ruined by gambling.
During the PM and the MP exchange at the Commons Mr Cameron said “We did take some action in the last parliament to deal with problem gambling in terms of the planning system and in terms of the way, particularly fixed-odds betting terminals, worked. I’m very happy to keep examining this issue and to act on the evidence and I’ll be discussing it with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.”
On its part, Mr Cowan expressed: “It’s time for action on problem gambling – an issue that blights too many communities and households across Scotland. I am pleased to learn from HM Treasury that they will consider my ideas of using dormant accounts to help good causes and those hit by the problem of gambling. A report six years ago recommended that the UK Government consult with high street betting operators on how money from dormant betting accounts could be utilised for good causes.”