|Question Time panellists were asked if the liberalisation of Britain’s gambling laws was ‘regenerative or degenerative’ last night.|
Leed chief Peter Ridsdale said, “The (current) laws are nonsense. The people have the lottery. That’s gambling.
“With the Internet there are many opportunities to gamble. The law should be there to protect the public. I think to do nothing is a nonsense.
“Used properly its fine. I think it’s time people in this country were treated intelligently.”
Conservative MP John Whittingdale said that Britain’s gambling laws are “archaic and absurd”.
Labour MP Barbara Roache agreed. “I think we need to treat people as mature human beings. I wouldn’t want to see Vegas here. But in France, some seaside towns have done it well. I think it can be a good thing and of course it causes regeneration.”
Only Beatrice Campbell said she saw the moves as degenerative and not in the public’s interest. “In Blackpool I think it is being driven by big business,” she said.
The questioner said that British seaside towns were on their knees and it was as good a way of getting money as any.
Barry Norman confessed that he part-owned a casino in his youth. He said he did not want to see Vegas-style casinos with blacked out windows and ‘permanent night’ in British establishments.
David Dimbleby said that Gamblers Anonymous see gambling as a form of mental illness. What, all gambling?