Fareham council's bid to ban high stakes gambling machines in betting shops

Daily Echo: Fareham council wants to ban high stakes gambling machines from betting shops Fareham council wants to ban high stakes gambling machines from betting shops

A HAMPSHIRE council is pressing ahead with banning high-stakes roulette machines in high street betting shops.

Councillors in Fareham have backed a motion to stamp out what has been dubbed the “crack cocaine of gambling”.

They are following in the footsteps of several councils around the UK including Liverpool in demanding action to curb what has been described as a highly addictive form of gambling.

Across Fareham borough there are about 14 betting shops that last year saw £81m gambled on 51 of the machines, also known as fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), with players losing more than £2.5m.

Campaigners claim that because betting shops are limited to four FOBTs per shop, bookmakers are now opening multiple shops on high streets to maximise the number of machines and revenue they make from them.

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has backed the borough council’s call for restrictions.

Spokesman Matt Zarb-Cousin said the machines now account for over half of bookmakers’ profits.

He said: “Fareham has decided that the high street is not the place for hard gambling, especially when these machines are so open to abuse from money launderers.”

Fareham Borough Council leader Councillor Sean Woodward said: “I acted many years ago to remove the scourge of slot machines from Fareham’s chip shops, takeaways and other premises where children could use them unsupervised.

“Now we have the march into betting shops of the FOBTs, where up to £100 can be bet every 20 seconds.

“They are the crack cocaine of gambling. I very much hope our Government will act to bring down the stake to £2 per go.”

The betting industry has acknowledged that fixed odds betting terminals have caused problems for some gamblers but argues that people would gamble in other ways if they were forced to remove the machines.

Comments (5)

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6:25am Mon 16 Dec 13

Turtlebay says...

"..people would gamble in other ways if they were forced to remove the machines."

Remove the machines and let the gamblers use another way.


The best way is to make the maximum stake ten pence. The booking shops would voluntarilly remove the machines then!
"..people would gamble in other ways if they were forced to remove the machines." Remove the machines and let the gamblers use another way. The best way is to make the maximum stake ten pence. The booking shops would voluntarilly remove the machines then! Turtlebay

8:52am Mon 16 Dec 13

Horse’s mouth says...

A fool and their money are soon parted
A fool and their money are soon parted Horse’s mouth

5:26pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Banpokies1 says...

Yes...Sadly maybe you are right Horse's mouth...but who exactly ARE the fools? UK citizens are ALL losing out via these blood-sucking, retail-killing FOBT's...so I would not be too cocky in my comments! YOU are paying the gambling bills! More fool you.... if you do not support getting rid of the machines.
Yes...Sadly maybe you are right Horse's mouth...but who exactly ARE the fools? UK citizens are ALL losing out via these blood-sucking, retail-killing FOBT's...so I would not be too cocky in my comments! YOU are paying the gambling bills! More fool you.... if you do not support getting rid of the machines. Banpokies1

7:14am Tue 17 Dec 13

skeptik says...

Odd that folk need protecting from fast food outlets near schools and a raft of legislation to protect the people from themselves, Yet when it come to ads promising wins at bingo, these machines and loans with telephone number interest rates - it is their own choice and government has no place interfering.
Odd that folk need protecting from fast food outlets near schools and a raft of legislation to protect the people from themselves, Yet when it come to ads promising wins at bingo, these machines and loans with telephone number interest rates - it is their own choice and government has no place interfering. skeptik

10:03pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Banpokies1 says...

Difference is Skeptic that when people use bingo or high interest rate loans, they do know what they are getting. FOBT's are designed to confuse, mislead and give false hope to people who use them. Addiction to them is way too easy and addiction means 'no choice'...so your plea for people to 'be wise' is useless. Rational choice is gone once addictive behavior begins. Why do we not legalize heroin then? I guess you would support that too....

More importantly...why must other citizens foot the costs that these unwise FOBT users create for all of us? The gambling industry IS the only winner...and government is losing out. License the FOBT users, charge them a hefty annual levy...and then let them throw their money away...it is then THEIR choice! Why on earth should WE all pay for their silliness OR the gambling industry's utter ruthless greed? We get back a pittance from that industry compared to what we ALL lose....from FOBT's.
Difference is Skeptic that when people use bingo or high interest rate loans, they do know what they are getting. FOBT's are designed to confuse, mislead and give false hope to people who use them. Addiction to them is way too easy and addiction means 'no choice'...so your plea for people to 'be wise' is useless. Rational choice is gone once addictive behavior begins. Why do we not legalize heroin then? I guess you would support that too.... More importantly...why must other citizens foot the costs that these unwise FOBT users create for all of us? The gambling industry IS the only winner...and government is losing out. License the FOBT users, charge them a hefty annual levy...and then let them throw their money away...it is then THEIR choice! Why on earth should WE all pay for their silliness OR the gambling industry's utter ruthless greed? We get back a pittance from that industry compared to what we ALL lose....from FOBT's. Banpokies1

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