30 August 2007

Against the odds

In advance of the implementation of the Gambling Act 2005, the Methodist Church and the Salvation Army are responding to the new law and highlighting the risks of gambling with a new resource, Against the odds…?

The document offers information and advice on the Gambling Act 2005, which comes into effect on 1 September. The Act brings increased opportunities to gamble and fewer advertising restrictions for gambling operators and Against the odds…? explains the new regulations, the many types of gambling and offers a Christian response to the issues.

Anthea Cox, Coordinating Secretary for Public Life and Social Justice for the Methodist Church, says: "The social cost, to individuals, families and communities, of problem gambling is something that deeply concerns us and we fear that as opportunities to gamble increase, inevitably so will problem gambling. This document is a Christian response to the issues and we hope it will be helpful to those wishing to know more about gambling legislation in the UK, the concerns that surround gambling addiction and the action Christians may wish to take in looking at the challenges that gambling brings."

Lieutenant-Colonel Royston Bartlett, Secretary for Communications for the Salvation Army UK and the Republic of Ireland, says: "Problem gambling affects not only the individual, but also their friends, family, colleagues and community. Against the odds…? is a reminder that we are not powerless in the face of these issues. It is not just a matter for policy makers - we can all do our part to support those with gambling problems and to campaign for greater protection for the vulnerable. The document also reminds us that we need to remain alert to the potential dangers and not to become complacent now that the Act is in place."

Against the odds…? also gives advice on what individuals can do to support those with gambling addiction, to increase public awareness and to raise concerns about casino proposals in their area.

Against the odds…? is available at www.methodist.org.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=opentoworld.content&cmid=1183 and on the Salvation Army website, www.salvationarmy.org.uk. It is supported by the Baptist Union of Great Britain, CARE (Christian Action Research and Education), the Church of Scotland, the Evangelical Alliance, Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs and the Church of Scotland.

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