Updated: Sunday, 19th November 2017 @ 8:06am

Manchester City Council call for roulette restrictions to limit 'crack coke of gambling'

Manchester City Council call for roulette restrictions to limit 'crack coke of gambling'

| By Dan Holland

Manchester City Council has thrown its weight behind a campaign to put restrictions on addictive roulette machines dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’. 

The proposal to restrict fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) – which can take bets of up to £100 every 20 seconds – have been brought forward by Newham Council and are now being backed by a number of local authorities across the country.

The campaign is calling on the government to reduce the maximum stake to £2 a spin on the touch-screen betting shop machines, which have been linked to gambling addiction, violence, abuse to staff, and money laundering.

Councillor Kevin Peel said: “We’ve long been fighting here in Manchester to stop the spread of betting shops and fixed odds betting terminals, but the powers we have give us very little room to seriously challenge the industry.

“I’m pleased that we’re now joining other councils to pressure the government into reducing the stakes on these addictive casino gaming machines which will reduce the desire of betting shops to open multiple premises in deprived areas in order to maximise their profits from the machines.”

Newham is planning to submit its proposal to bring FOBTs into line with all other easily accessible gambling machines in November, with the government obliged to respond within six months.

Adrian Parkinson, from The Campaign for Fairer Gambling, which has been campaigning for a reduction in the maximum stake to £2 per spin, added: “We are very encouraged to see councils taking action against FOBTs.

“The current system leaves them powerless to stop the spread of these addictive machines, which are causing social and economic problems in some of our most deprived areas.

“We are optimistic about Newham’s proposal under the Sustainable Communities Act, but the message to government is already very clear.”

For more information on the Campaign for Fairer Gambling and the Stop the FOBTs campaign, visit www.stopthefobts.org and www.fairergambling.org.

Image courtesy of John Wardell, with thanks.