Letter to the Chairman of the Committee
from the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS FOR GAMBLING
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