When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
David Cameron’s vow over fixed-odds machines in East Lancashire
GAMBLING machines which East Lancashire punters poured £270m into last year could still be restricted, David Cameron said.
Fixed-odds betting terminals, found in most bookmakers, have been previously labelled ‘the crack cocaine of gambling’.
The Prime Minister promised to take a ‘proper look’ at the machines following Ireland’s recent banning of them.
Responding to a Labour MP at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Cameron said: “I do think it is worth having a proper look at this issue, to see what we can do to make sure that, yes, we have bookmakers that are not over-regulated.
“But, on the other hand, a fair approach and a decent approach that prevents problem gambling.”
The machines allow punters to gamble up to £100 every 20 seconds, and takings from the machine account for nearly half of the big bookmakers’ annual profits.
Hyndburn and Haslingden MP, Graham Jones, said: “I have long campaigned against the proliferation of fixed odds betting terminals on our high streets. I welcome the fact the issue is finally getting looked at in detail.
“The government needs to address the high maximum stakes, the rapid speed of play and how we can prevent the cyclical patterns of use which enable people to lose hundreds of pounds in such a short time.”
Burnley MP, Gordon Birtwistle, added: “There’s nothing wrong with betting shops, but we need to sort out the culture of addictive gambling that ruins people’s lives. “Betting has to be done responsibly and if the government has to step in to make it responsible, then so be it.”
A £500,000, 18-month-long study into gambling machines was launched by the Responsible Gambling Trust in January. The government said it would review the results.
Comments are closed on this article.