Anger at army base gaming machines as military leaders accused of allowing “secret epidemic” of betting addiction by refusing to remove terminals

  • Military leaders have been accused of letting gambling addiction fester
  • It is feared that there are hundreds of betting machines in the barracks of the soldiers’ army
  • MPs demanded assurances that the Defense Ministry does not profit from the losses of low-paid troops










Military leaders have been accused of allowing a “secret epidemic” of gambling addiction to fester after refusing to remove betting machines from army bases.

MPs demanded assurances that the Defense Ministry did not profit from underpaid troop losses amid growing outcry.

It is feared that there are hundreds of places in the barracks putting soldiers, who are far from home, at the risk of losing thousands of pounds.

Veterans ten times more likely to struggle with problem gambling than non-veterans in UK, researchers find

This is despite the rules, known as the Queen’s Regulations, that all forms of play are prohibited on bases and ships.

Betting machines are permitted under an exemption from the rules, which gives the commander the discretion to authorize “a lottery, raffle or other games of chance”.

Veterans first demanded that betting machines be removed from bases in 2016.

Earlier this month, a minister told the House of Lords that the military was in the process of removing the machines but, in chaos over the policy, retracted the statement on Friday.

The Defense Ministry has repeatedly refused to tell parliamentarians how many betting terminals there are at the bases, or to reveal whether the army is taking advantage of troop losses.

People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are known to be particularly susceptible to gambling addiction.

People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are known to be particularly susceptible to gambling addiction.

Veterans are ten times more likely to struggle with problem gambling than non-veterans in the UK, researchers have found.

People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are known to be particularly susceptible to gambling addiction.

Conservative MP Richard Holden, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, said: “It is beyond belief that, given all the evidence of the incredible damage done, the military still refuses to ban these machines from military bases.

“The Defense Ministry must assure MPs that they are not making money with our brave soldiers who risk their lives to keep us safe.”

MP Carolyn Harris, Labor Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Harm, said: “I am concerned that there is a secret epidemic of gambling addiction in our Forces.

“It is shameful that the military takes advantage of betting machines placed in the middle of social spaces.

“It should have been fixed years ago. “

The Bishop of St Albans, The Right Reverend Dr Alan Smith, who represents the Church of England on gambling matters, said: “I am gravely disappointed to learn that the government has rescinded its previous pledge to withdraw the army bases slot machines. “


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