Effect of Instants 'must be checked'

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The Independent Online
The National Lottery and the Scott report "both expose a moral coarseness on the part of the government", according to one of the members of high-level Christian delegation which yesterday visited Mrs Virginia Bottomley to ask for the regulations surrounding Instants to be tightened up, writes Andrew Brown.

The Rev John Kennedy, of the Methodist Church's Division of Social Responsibility, said that he was mostly concerned with the growth of Instants. "This is a gambling industry worth pounds 1.5bn a year, created by the government, from which Camelot have told us that they make no profit at all." The government, he said, was irresponsible not to fund research into the effects of Instants.

Mr Kennedy also claimed that the lottery had led to the nationalisation of charity. "The money passes through the lottery and it is the Government which decides which charities benefit."

The churches want curbs on the sale of Instants, which they regard as addictive. They want the age limit raised to 18 and a curb on the issue of new licenses to sell the scratch card. They also want research into the effects of Instants.