Lorna Hood, Church of Scotland’s General Assembly moderator, warned in her New Year message about the potential problems that can be caused by gambling.
She said that the perception of gambling as “cool and normal” activity may be dangerous and can be a reason for serious issues like debt. Hood expressed her concern about all the Scottish families that are struggling due to the crisis, additionally because of their expenses paying off casino and mobile betting debts.
Hood seems to be particularly worried about the easy access and popularity of mobile casinos in Scotland. She commented: “Adverts during sports and other TV programmes encourage us to place bets using tablets and smartphones [that are] within arm’s reach.”
Gambling issues become more and more discussed
In addition to the concerns expressed by the church, Scottish media is also reflecting on the betting habits of the population. The Herald Scotland newspaper reported that “gambling has become part of the fabric of everyday life, but that problem gambling remains a serious threat.”
The article incorporated a Scottish Health Survey (2013) which said that 70% of Scottish people have gambled in the past year, around three million people. It also quotes a UK Gambling Commission claim that 31,000 of these Scottish bettors are at risk as problem gamblers.
It also supported the opinion that: “At the very least it should continue to lobby the UK government to stem the growth of fixed odds betting – a sure sign of a gambling industry that is out of control.”