Army gambling machine anger: Military chiefs accused of encouraging a’secret epidemic of addiction to betting’ by failing to take down the terminals

  • Military chiefs have been accused of allowing gambling addictions to fester
  • There are hundreds of gambling machines within soldiers’ Army barsracks, it is believed
  • MPs wanted assurances from the MoD that it isn’t profiting off low-paid soldiers’ losses

Military chiefs have been accused of allowing a ‘secret epidemic’ of gambling addiction to fester after they refused to remove betting machines from Army bases.

MPs are requesting assurances that the Ministry of Defence will not profit from low-paid troops’ losses amid growing protests.

There are hundreds of slot holes in the barracks, which could put soldiers far away from home at risk of losing thousands.

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

Research has shown that problem gambling is ten times more common in veterans than it is among non-veterans living in the UK.

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

The betting machines are allowed under an exemption to the rules, which gives the commanding officer the discretion to allow ‘a lottery, sweepstake or other gambling’.

The first time that veterans demanded betting machines were removed from base bases was in 2016.

An earlier statement by a minister to the House of Lords stated that the Army was working on removing the machines. However, the House of Lords was shocked when the minister subsequently retracted his statements.

The MoD has repeatedly refused to tell parliamentarians how many betting terminals there are in bases, or reveal if the military is profiting from troops’ losses.

Those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are deemed to be particularly susceptible to a gambling addiction

Gambling addiction is more common in those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).

Research has shown that problem gambling is ten times more common in veterans than it was for non-veterans.

People suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), are more susceptible to gambling addiction.

Tory MP Richard Holden, a member of the public accounts committee, said: ‘It beggars belief that, given all the evidence of the incredible harm caused, the Army is still refusing to ban these machines from military bases.

‘The MoD must assure MPs it is not making money from our brave soldiers who put their lives on the line to keep us safe.’

Carolyn Harris MP, the Labour chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on gambling harm, said: ‘I fear there is a secret epidemic of gambling addiction in our Forces.

“It is shameful that betting machines are being placed in social areas by the Army.

‘This should have been dealt with years ago.’

The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, who represents the Church of England on gambling matters, said: ‘I am gravely disappointed to hear that the Government has reversed their previous promise to remove gambling machines from Army bases.’