According to the Government’s own figures, Britons gambled £7 billion pounds in 1996. In 2002, however, they gambled away £16 billion, while in 2005 the figure reached a staggering £48 billion. On 22 July 2005, Leo McKinstry noted in the Daily Telegraph that 46 percent of the UK population now indulge in some form of betting (this does not even include the national lottery).
In online gambling alone, Britons are now spending more than £5 billion a year. That is more than our nation’s annual budget on defence and transport combined.
In May, the charity GamCare announced a 40 per cent rise in the number of people seeking help with problem gambling. In Britain alone, it is estimated, there are 300,000 people who suffer from gambling addiction problems.
Faced with these remarkable figures, the obvious question is, why does the Government want to encourage even more gambling?
The UK gambling industry may be harmful to families and communities, but it has been a goldmine for the Labour Government. In 2001, our lawmakers abolished tight restrictions on the gambling industry. At the same time, Gordon Brown replaced the traditional duty on all betting transactions with a 15 per cent tax on all gambling company’s profits. This has enabled the Treasury to benefit greatly from the UK gambling epidemic. Researchers from the University of Trent estimated that upcoming changes in gaming laws will provide the National Treasury with an extra £3 billion a year.
Government’s rich friends have also greatly benefited. On 23 April, The Times reported that Britain’s gambling boom has fuelled a 20% increase in the combined wealth of the country’s super-rich ‘an extraordinary tripling in wealth of the country’s 1,000 richest people under Labour…’