Tony praises Westminister support for new gambling legislation

The all-party parliamentary group published a damning report on the dangers of fixed odds betting terminals last week. The report has been submitted to Carolyn Harris MP, with a Government review due in April.

Wednesday, 8th February 2017, 9:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:20 am
Tony Franklin has started a petition amassing over 100,000 signatures against FOBT

The inquiry was launched after growing anger among politicians about the harm being caused on Britain’s High Streets by the high-stake machines, which can be played with little supervision in any betting shop.

Local campaigner Tony Franklin said: “These machines set people up for financial ruin. At £100 a pop, you can gamble an extraordinary amount of money away very quickly. They are very dangerous.”

The inquiry was launched following growing disquiet among politicians about the harm being caused on Britain’s High Streets by the high-stake machines, FOBTs [fixed odds betting terminals] which can be played with little supervision in any betting shop. Punters can lose up to £100 every 20 seconds on FOBTs. The findings of the report suggest that the gambling commission “has failed” to adequately advise the Government in recent years and that there is a case to reduce the time between spins and lower the maximum stake from £100 to £2 to reduce “potential for harm”.

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Carolyn Harris MP said: “There is now a clear case for the Government to substantially reduce the maximum stake which can be played on FOBTs. The time for prevaricating is over. These machines are easily accessed in the most deprived areas, sucking money out of the pockets of families.”

Mr Franklin added: “I’m glad to have played my part in contributing to this report, but this is just the beginning. We need to examine the way our society has normalised gambling. Is this the kind society we want? A nation of addicted gamblers?”