Newport Casino opposed by Salvation Army

The Salvation Army in Newport is encouraging local people to speak out against proposals for licensing a regional casino in the city under the provisions of the new Gambling Act.

The Christian organisation Government’sdon’tis encouraging people to sign a petition or write to their local council to voice objections and ask that the city council do not submit a formal proposal to the Government’s Casino Advisory Panel.

„The Salvation Army has said consistently that any rise in gambling opportunities is likely to lead to a rise in problem gambling, and we don’t want that for our community, said Captain Gerald Nicoll, NewportCorps Officer (minister) of The Salvation Army in Newport’s Citadel Corps (church).

„These new so-called supercasinos will introduce hard forms of gambling that have never been seen before in the UK, such as £1 million jackpot machines. The Government claims that casinos will regenerate local communities but there is no evidence for this in a UK context. In fact, experience in the US shows the building of casinos brings a rise in gambling-related debt, crime, bankruptcy, and associated social problems including unemployment and family breakdown. We want Havant Borough Council not to submit proposals for a Supercasino,“ said Captain Nicoll.

„There are an estimated 370,000 problem gamblers in the UK and any increase in gambling opportunities is likely to lead to a rise in problem gambling. In an NOP poll commissioned by The Salvation Army, 56% of the population, and 64% of women, said they would not be happy for a casino to open where they live.

Local authorities have to submit their formal proposals to the Casino Advisory Panel by end of March.