MAYOR CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO ACT ON ‘CRACK COCAINE OF GAMBLING’
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, has backed the campaign to slash the maximum stake on fixed odds betting machines (FOBM) from £100 to £2 per spin.
Last year, almost £14.5m was lost by people in Lewisham using these machines, which have been dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’.
Gamblers use these touch screen machines, which can spin every 20 seconds, to play casino style games, betting up to £100 each spin. Lewisham has 227 fixed odds betting machines in 63 betting shops across the borough.
According to the Fairer Gambling Campaign, when compared to other gambling activities, FOBMs are used more by 16-24 year-olds and people with the lowest incomes. The machines are often found in betting shops in areas with the greatest levels of deprivation.
Sir Steve Bullock has written to Tracey Crouch MP, Parliamentary under secretary of state for sport, tourism and heritage, drawing attention to the lack of powers that councils have to stop the proliferation of betting shops in local high streets and to call for the Government to reduce the maximum stake in FOBMs to £2 a spin. (Source: Lewisham council press release.)