RUTHERGLEN MSP WELCOMES £2 MAXIMUM STATE ON ‘CRACK COCAINE OF GAMBLING’

For immediate release:

RUTHERGLEN MSP WELCOMES £2 MAXIMUM STATE ON ‘CRACK COCAINE OF GAMBLING’

In a move taken by the UK Government last week (17th May), the maximum stake for Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals is set to be slashed from £100 to £2.

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.

The changes have been made by the UK Government after analysing a consultation into the issue by the public and the gambling industry.

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.

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

Commenting, Clare Haughey MSP said:

“I wholeheartedly welcome the UK Government’s decision to cut the stake on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals to £2 as it is a move which will surely save lives.

“Too much social harm has been caused by the machines whilst individuals have been plundered into huge financial difficulties because of them. Our gambling industry has a duty to be socially responsible, and this has certainly not been the case when they are allowing their customers to lose hundreds of pounds in minutes on the machines.

“I congratulate all campaigners and political parties who were calling for the maximum £2 stake, and thankfully our pressure has paid off.”

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

Below is a photograph of Clare Haughey MSP calling for a maximum £2 stake.

Clare Haughey MSP - FOBTs

 

Date published: 22nd May 2018

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