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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Generating taxes from gambling is unethical, Vatican office says

Legalising gambling fuels addictions, creating more and more compulsive gamblers, and using the industry as a source of tax revenue is unethical, said a major Vatican office.

‘The legalisation of gambling, even when it is supported by the intention of unmasking its criminal management, exponentially increases the number of pathological players,’ said an introductory note to an international conference on drugs and addictions, organised by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

‘Moreover, taxation by the state is to be considered incompatible from an ethical standpoint and contradictory in terms of prevention,’ it said in the conference program, released on 26th November.

‘As the landscape of addictions diversifies, indifference and at times indirect complicity in this phenomenon contributes to diverting the attention of public opinion and governments, often focused on other emergencies,’ it said.

The conference, to be held from 29th November to 1st December, is bringing together experts, international organisations and specialists working for rehabilitation centres or for church-run initiatives to discuss current challenges with drug abuse and addictions and best practices in prevention and treatment.

Picture: A croupier with a roulette table. (Andrew Milligan/PA).