When the Labour government first proposed relaxed laws on gambling such as the introduction of supercasinos much was said about Brown, then Chancellor, ditching his roots as the son of a Church of Scotland minister. He cleverly redeemed himself on becoming Prime Minister, however, by doing a U-turn and scrapping the plans for supercasinos.
Now he's showing a worrying complacency towards the massive issue of problem gambling - something which affects low income families more than aristocrats and international spies. His press team have tried to spin The Gambling Commission's damning prevalence report as an encouraging progress report, saying that it shows that only 1 in 100 people are problem gamblers. It doesn't take much scratching of the surface to see the real nature of the report, they got this statistic by ingeniously including the lottery.
Tobias Ellwood MP, Shadow Minister for Media, Culture and Sport, gave us this statement:
"With the dexterity of a steely eyed poker player, Gordon Brown gave little away in the lead up to the Gambling Commission's report, allowing speculation to flourish that problem gambling was on the rise. When the cards were finally placed on the table, it seems that a mere 1 in 100 adults has an addiction to gambling. Look a little closer and we see this is a clever bluff. The number of problem gamblers jumps considerably to 1 in 7 for users of spread betting, 1 in 10 for users of Fixed Odds Betting Terminal's and 1 in 10 for users of betting exchanges; the very areas of gambling that will now be advertised on our television screens. If Britain wants to be the regulatory beacon of socially responsible gambling that the Government promised, Gordon Brown will need to look the nation in the eye with a little more senerity and commitment."