Drink and Drugs News DDN February 2020 | Page 5

News DDN EVERY DAY All the news, updated daily www.drinkanddrugsnews.com Gambling on credit cards banned Local News G Time to re- classify GHB, ACMD told THE HOME SECRETARY has written to the ACMD requesting an ‘urgent review’ of the classification of GHB and related compounds following the case of Reynhard Sinaga, who is thought to have used the drug to carry out almost 140 rapes. In light of the case – and those of murderers Stephen Port and Gerald Motovu – the ACMD should consider the classification of GHB and GBL to reflect their potential harms, says Priti Patel in a letter to council chair Owen Bowden-Jones. While GBL is a class C substance, its use in industrial processes means it is legal to import, produce and supply. ‘Given the extreme severity of these cases, and the potential for misuse, I request that the council urgently expedites the consideration of these substances,’ the letter states. WWW.DRINKANDDRUGSNEWS.COM Special support Open Road has secured funding from the Tampon Tax Fun to deliver women- only workshops in Essex to support women leaving prison. ‘With the right approach, vulnerable women can feel valued – sometimes for the first time in their lives – and can turn their lives around’, said CEO Sarah Wright. ambling businesses will no longer be allowed to let customers use credit cards to gamble, the Gambling Commission has announced. The ban will apply to both online and offline gambling products, and will come into effect on 14 April, although people will still be able to buy lottery tickets or scratchcards in shops alongside other purchases. The move follows a public consultation along with a Gambling Commission review of online gambling and a government review of gaming machines. According to banking trade association UK Finance, around 800,000 people use credit cards to gamble, while Gambling Commission research shows that more than a fifth of online gamblers who use their credit cards are classed as problem gamblers. More than 10m UK adults currently engage in some form of online gambling. All online gambling operators will also be compelled to participate in the GAMSTOP scheme by the end of March, the commission added, which allows customers to self-exclude from online operators with a single request rather than requesting each operator individually. ‘The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have,’ said Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur. ‘Research shows that 22 per cent of online gamblers using credit cards are problem gamblers, with even more suffering some form of gambling harm. ’ Around 800,000 people use credit cards to gamble, and of those more than a fifth are classed as problem gamblers Positive perceptions Cornish charity Harbour Housing, which supports people to recover from homelessness and addiction (DDN, October 2019, page 10), has been named Charity of the Year at the South West Business and Community Awards. The award demonstrated a ‘positive shift in public opinion towards schemes like this being more widely accepted and understood,’ said staff member Emily Hill. Scots sales down after minimum unit pricing THE VOLUME of off-trade alcohol sales in Scotland dropped by 3.6 per cent in the year following the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP), according to NHS Health Scotland. The first analysis of sales over a full year since MUP came into force in May 2018 shows that the volume of pure alcohol sold per adult fell to 7.1 litres compared to 7.4 litres in the 12 months before implementation, while the volume sold in England and Wales increased from 6.3 to 6.5 litres. Sales of cider fell the most, at almost 19 per cent, while sales of spirits fell by just under 4 per cent. Sales trends in the North East and North West of England, meanwhile, were found to be largely the same as in the rest of England and Wales, meaning it was unlikely that large numbers of people were crossing the border to buy cheaper alcohol, the study states. The first analysis of sales over a full year since MUP came into force in May 2018 shows that off-trade alcohol sales in Scotland dropped by 3.6 per cent Stronger together Evaluating the impact of minimum unit pricing (MUP) on sales- based consumption in Scotland at www.healthscotland.scot Devon-based charity EDP will become a subsidiary of Humankind from April, the organisations have announced. ‘EDP puts its service users at the heart of every decision,’ said chief executive Penny Blackmore. ‘Joining Humankind offers unrivalled opportunities to innovate our service design and delivery for the benefit of everyone accessing our support.’ FEBRUARY 2020 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • 5