FIXED ODDS BETTING TERMINALS COSTS SOUTH LANARKSHIRE £10 MILLION PER YEAR

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FIXED ODDS BETTING TERMINALS COSTS SOUTH LANARKSHIRE £10 MILLION PER YEAR

Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has warned constituents of the dangers of using fixed-odds betting terminals after figures released highlights their impact across South Lanarkshire.

The machines, often dubbed the crack cocaine of gambling, allow players to stake up to £500 per minute on computer versions of games including poker, roulette, and blackjack.

A study undertaken by the British Amusement Catering Trade Association, found fixed-odds betting terminals are costing South Lanarkshire £10.1 million a year in lost money, health expenses, and job problems associated with addiction to the terminals. Neighbouring local authority Glasgow loses a staggering £27 million a year – more than any other council area in the UK.

As we reported last September, people across South Lanarkshire spent £13 million on the machines in the 2015/16 financial year alone.

Commenting, Clare Haughey MSP said:

“These figures show the devastating affect fixed-odds betting terminals have on our communities and local economy.

“For every person addicted to these machines, there is an economic cost in terms of job prospects, health, crime and relationship issues.

“The UK Government must take action to stop people losing out even more – by reducing the number of machines allowed in bookmakers, limiting the stakes that can be bet, and reducing the amount of time that can be spent on the machines.”

The UK Government has been consulting on proposals to reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals – seeking views during a 12-week consultation period that closed last month. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport are in the process of analysing the responses, and will set out their proposals in due course.

ENDS

Notes:

Further information can be read here (behind pay wall):
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/glasgow-pays-higher-price-for-its-addiction-to-gambling-machines-7kb3c5x5c

Rutherglen Reformer article cited can be read here:
https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/13million-lost-fixed-odds-betting-11162414v

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport consultation can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures

 

Date published: 19th February 2018

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