Msp’s call on bet­ting ma­chines

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Judith Ton­ner

Alex Neil is call­ing for ac­tion to tackle “toxic” fixed-odds bet­ting ter­mi­nals (FOBTs) af­ter new fig­ures showed North La­nark­shire gam­blers have lost nearly £90 mil­lion on the ma­chines in the past eight years–in­clud­ing more than £13 min 2015-2016 alone.

Statis­tics from the Cam­paign for Fairer Gam­bling in­di­cate that play­ers us­ing the ter­mi­nals across Scot­land lost nearly £171,000 in that year, and more than £1.1 bil­lion in the pe­riod from 2008 to 2016.

Now the Air­drie & Shotts MSP wants to see the UK govern­ment take steps in­clud­ing lim­it­ing stakes, play­ing time and avail­abil­ity of the ma­chines, re­ferred to as the “crack co­caine of gam­bling”.

Mr Neil told the Ad­ver­tiser :“These are in­cred­i­bly con­cern­ing fig­ures. FOBTs are so ad­dic­tive they are known as the ‘crack co­caine of gam­bling’– and it’s no won­der given how much peo­ple have lost out from us­ing these toxic ma­chines.”

With the is­sue re­main­ing re­served to West­min­ster, Mr Neil added: “The Tory govern­ment can­not con­tinue to ig­nore this is­sue that is hav­ing such a neg­a­tive im­pact on our com­mu­ni­ties.

“They must stop peo­ple los­ing out even more – by re­duc­ing the num­ber of ma­chines in book­mak­ers, lim­it­ing the stakes, re­duc­ing the time that can be spent on the ma­chines, and ban­ning them al­to­gether if peo­ple con­tinue to lose out.

“It’s a huge prob­lem, and the UK govern­ment need to get se­ri­ous about tack­ling it. It’s time for them to take ac­tion to help peo­ple across North La­nark­shire.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.