Motion to Regret

Part of Gaming Machine (Circumstances of Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 – in the House of Lords am 7:00 pm ar 23 Mawrth 2015.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Collins of Highbury Lord Collins of Highbury Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (International Development) 7:00, 23 Mawrth 2015

I, too, thank noble Lords for this debate. It has been really important to raise these issues again. The concern is not just in this Chamber; it is in our communities. Nor is the concern just among people who do not gamble; the concern is among people who want to use their local betting shop as a community resource but are fearful of what they are turning into. That is the problem.

Of course, it is not just about activity on these machines in relation to problem gambling; it is about the way that they can be used and the pressures that this puts on staff. For the sake of clarity, I think that all noble Lords who have contributed to the debate have shared one absolute, common concern—that these machines are potentially dangerous and that we should have a precautionary approach.

The actions of the Government have been, in my noble friend’s words, too little, too late. I think that I said that if there is one thing worse than inaction, it is the pretence of action. Not for the first time, my noble friend Lord Lipsey and I agree on the fundamental issues, even if we occasionally disagree on other issues. As a co-signatory of the amendment that supported the horserace betting levy, I was very keen to ensure that the consultation on its future was full and frank.

I agree with my noble friend that it was wrong for the Chancellor to prejudge issues to make short-term political gain, but I fear that that is a problem with the coalition as we have it at the moment. When Labour is returned to government on 7 May, our focus will be on giving control to local communities to determine what is safe in their own areas. In the light of the comments I have made, I beg leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion withdrawn.