No change on instant betting machine laws

York Press: No change on instant betting machine laws No change on instant betting machine laws

PLANS for the introduction of new laws to regulate high stakes betting machines were voted out of the House of Commons last night, as a York MP said more action was needed to stop machines which do the community “more harm than good”.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), reportedly cost people in our region more than £372 million a year, with more than 33,000 across the country making more than £1.5 billion each year.

In a Commons vote last month, four Tory MPs voted against the Government and supported Labour in its calls for the stakes on the machines to be slashed from £100 to £2.

MPs yesterday voted on Labour plans to change the laws and regulation of the machines, which can see users lose up to £300 per minute.

Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central, spoke at the debate, and said there was cross-party agreement on the problem posed by the machines, which became more prominent following changes to he Gambling Act implemented by Labour.

He said: “It’s clear to me that there is a significant social problem.

“I do not shy away from the fact Labour's fingerprints are on the last Gambling Act, but there is a serious problem and the party recognises that and we should change the law.

"Government says there’s a significant problem but is not committed to changing the law, instead getting into discussions with the industry and research. Personally, I think it calls for action.”

During Prime Minister’s Question Time, David Cameron heard claims the machines caused problems for families and individuals, with betting shops becoming “mini casinos” in deprived areas, and admitted the Labour party had a “reasonable point”.

However, he said it was up to local authorities to make full use of their powers to tackle local issues.

Mr Bayley said research showed heavy concentrations of FOBTs were present in deprived areas, but also in constituencies with large tourist attractions, including York.

He said: “Gambling is a part of York’s culture, with the racecourse, but it only has six or seven races on the course in an afternoon. People may well walk away and lose money after having a good day, considering it part of the cost of going racing.

“However, if they come to York for a day and lose £1,000 or more on a fruit machine in a betting office, they are unlikely to shrug it off and say it’s part of the cost of a good day out.”

A review by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport of FOBTs is due in the spring.

Comments (5)

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9:45am Thu 9 Jan 14

smudge2 says...

There's no change because the majority of people who use these machines claim or launder money from the government and then give them it back with the betting/corporation tax that the inland revenue receive from the bookies Nice little easy earner for which ever party is in power.
There's no change because the majority of people who use these machines claim or launder money from the government and then give them it back with the betting/corporation tax that the inland revenue receive from the bookies Nice little easy earner for which ever party is in power. smudge2

10:42am Thu 9 Jan 14

anistasia says...

The government don't really want these changes as the previous person said they get something out of it it's the same as gas and electric they government saying they are doing all they can to bring and keep prices down but still charge 5% tax on your bill so the more gas/electric used the bigger the bill the more they get from you.
The government don't really want these changes as the previous person said they get something out of it it's the same as gas and electric they government saying they are doing all they can to bring and keep prices down but still charge 5% tax on your bill so the more gas/electric used the bigger the bill the more they get from you. anistasia

11:13am Thu 9 Jan 14

Jazzper says...

I was just thinking the same as the last two commentators, the tax income from gambling is similar to cigarette/alcohol banning arguments, to much of a tax rake in for the treasury
I was just thinking the same as the last two commentators, the tax income from gambling is similar to cigarette/alcohol banning arguments, to much of a tax rake in for the treasury Jazzper

2:36am Fri 10 Jan 14

Magicman! says...

However, he said it was up to local authorities to make full use of their powers to tackle local issues.

"I'm a coward who doesn't want to tackle my friends in big buisnesses"


Of course the government won't do anything about it. If somebody was paying you £1000 a month and then some people got together and said you should consider only accepting £800 a month, would you do it? hell no!
[quote]However, he said it was up to local authorities to make full use of their powers to tackle local issues. [/quote] "I'm a coward who doesn't want to tackle my friends in big buisnesses" Of course the government won't do anything about it. If somebody was paying you £1000 a month and then some people got together and said you should consider only accepting £800 a month, would you do it? hell no! Magicman!

12:54pm Fri 10 Jan 14

meme says...

why should they change them. If people are stupid enough to gamble their money away then let them!
Government cannot protect people from their own stupidity
why should they change them. If people are stupid enough to gamble their money away then let them! Government cannot protect people from their own stupidity meme

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