Public health expert comments on gambling policy delay

02 November 2018, FPH Policy & Communications Team

Today, over 200 public health professionals from across Scotland and the UK met to discuss the right to health and the role of the nanny state at the FPH in Scotland Conference in Peebles.

Following news that UK Sports Minister Tracey Crouch resigned in protest at the government’s refusal to speed up plans to curb controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), Dr Julie Cavanagh, Chair of the Committee of the Faculty of Public Health in Scotland, commented: “The forthcoming policy to cap the amount people can gamble in slot machines from £100 to £2 will be a huge step forward for the public’s health, but the delay in it coming into effect will be detrimental to health and could cost lives.

“This is a classic example of a policy that has the public’s health at its heart but some organisations put commercial gain ahead of people’s right to health.

“In fact, the government policy to reduce the amount people can spend in slot machines is designed to prevent people spending huge sums of money that they can’t afford. Addiction to gambling harms people and their families in so many ways.

“At today’s FPH in Scotland Conference, Prof John Coggan launched his new report on the nanny state and I would urge anyone working in public health to read it and share it so that they can get a better understanding of the debate, and can learn to tackle conversations on the issue.”

Notes to editors

You can read Professor John Coggon’s full report at this link, and you can read more on why he wrote this report by reading his blog on Better Health For All. To find out more about FPH in Scotland, follow them on Twitter @FPHScot and for more about FPH’s Ethics Special Interest Group, click here.

About the Faculty of Public Health in Scotland's Annual Conference

The focus of FPH in Scotland's 2018 Conference is the right to health, including public health ethics, equality and values. To read more about the agenda, click here, and to follow live updates on Twitter, search the Conference hashtag: #ScotPublicHealth.

About the UK Faculty of Public Health

FPH is a membership organisation for 4,000 public health professionals from across the UK and around the world, and is a registered charity. Our role is to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities and national populations. We support the training of public health professionals and campaign to improve health policy in partnership with local and national governments.

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Haidee O’Donnell
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