DAVID CAMERON faces anger from Conservative MPs and campaigners after plans for a review of casino-style betting machines, dubbed the “crack cocaine” of gambling, were blocked.
Boris Johnson is among those who have expressed concerns about the proliferation of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), on which gamblers can spend more than £100 a minute in bookmakers’ shops.
The government has announced today that it is rejecting calls by 94 Councils across England and Wales to cut the stakes on the contentious £100 per spin Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).
The action under the Sustainable Communities Act, led by Newham Council, called for the government to bring FOBTs in line with all other high street gaming machines and cap the stakes at £2 per spin. Newham and the 93 Councils backing the call believe the £100 maximum stake and allowance of four FOBTs per premises has led to the clustering of betting shops with serious social implications in their communities.
A bid to have the maximum bet on some gambling machines significantly reduced has been rejected by the government.
Some 93 councils in England and Wales called for the highest stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to be cut from £100 to £2.
Newham Council, which led the campaign, said the move would help prevent clusters of betting shops, particularly in deprived areas.
The government said it had already introduced stronger controls.
The proposal had been submitted under legislation which allows councils to urge central government to change the law to help them promote the “sustainability of local communities”.
Newham’s mayor, Sir Robin Wales, said the decision was an “insult” to councils.
“We will challenge this decision, because without a reduction in stakes, FOBTs will continue to blight the nation’s high streets,” he said.
Bookies are now raking in more profit from notorious high stakes gaming machines than all other forms of betting combined.
Gambling Commission figures show fixed odds betting terminals account for 52 per cent of their returns.
That means they are netting £1.6billion a year compared with a total £1.4billion from dog and horse racing, football betting and numbers games.
Read more in the Daily Mirror.
Controversial betting machines dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ are making more money for bookmakers than any other form of gambling.
Fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), on which customers can spend £100 a minute, accounted for 52 per cent of profits for the betting giants in the past year, new figures show.
Read more on Mail Online.