International edition
October 26, 2020

David Cameron has promised to take a "proper look" at the issue

Call for gambling machines ban in Liverpool

(UK).- Councillors in Liverpool are calling for high-stakes gambling machines to be banned from betting shops in the city. Councillor Nick Small believes the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), which include games like roulette, are addictive. "People are spending money they can ill afford on these terminals," he said.

B

ut the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) says "no evidence" has been produced to show the machines "cause problems with gambling". 

Mr Small has tabled a motion ahead of a full council meeting later to call on the government to either ban the machines or give local councils the power to restrict how many betting shops can open in certain areas. He said: "There's hundreds of betting shops in Liverpool and we just don't have the power to control them. Ultimately we need power to reduce the speed of play and to bring down the maximum stake. At the moment you can gamble us$ 160 every 20 seconds. We need to change that."

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling estimated up to us$ 960 million a year is being gambled on the machines in the city. But the ABB, which represents betting companies, said the real annual spend on the terminals is us$ 35.2 million.

Peter Craske from the ABB, said: "The reality is most customers bet around £7.55 and play for about 20 minutes."Betting shops are like any other retailer. They are going to open in areas where there are customers and where there is demand. We continue to invest in town centres and continue to create jobs. In Liverpool 700 people are employed in the city's betting shops. In the 10 years gaming machines have been in shops, no evidence has ever been produced to show that they cause problems with gambling."

David Cameron has recently promised to take a "proper look" at the issue after a question was raised in the commons.

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