Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Memoranda


Letter to the Chairman of the Committee from the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)


  The Society of Friends believes that its members should "consider which of the ways to happiness offered by society are truly fulfilling and which are potentially corrupting and destructive". Among the latter are speculation and games of chance and this meeting is, therefore, distressed to learn that the Government wishes to deregulate even further the law regarding casinos, bingo, pool competitions and society lotteries.

  This is not to deny that existing legislation requires revision and we should have liked time to consider in detail the proposals contained in A safe bet for success but time has not permitted this. However, we are glad to know that both Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs and the Methodist Church are making full submissions and we would ask the Committee to take full account of the concerns raised in these.

  Quakers believe that it is wrong to risk money in anticipation of disproportionate gain through gambling. That the Government chooses to employ this as a method of raising revenue suggests a lowering of moral and ethical standards in a body which is entrusted with the welfare of the whole nation.

  We urge most strongly that no decision is made by the Committee which will allow gambling to be more easily accessible and move us towards that casino-type culture which cannot but make us a more corrupt, acquisitive and greedy society.

28 April 2002

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