Liverpool calls for ban on ‘addictive’ betting machines

Liverpool Councillors have called for extremely addictive high-stake betting machines to be banned from betting shops in the city.

Councillor Nick Small said that Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), which include virtual versions of casino games like roulette, are the fastest way for gamblers to lose money.

The machines allow people to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds, and city leaders have called on the Government to ban the machines or give local councils the power to implement restrictions.


Councillors voted unanimously in favour of a motion tabled by Cllr Small on the matter.

Cllr Small said: “People are spending money they can ill afford on these terminals”.

He added: “There’s hundreds of betting shops in Liverpool and we just don’t have the power to control them.


“Ultimately, we need power to reduce the speed of play and to bring down the maximum stake.

“At the moment you can gamble £100 every 20 seconds. We need to change that.”

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling estimated up to £600m a year is being gambled on the machines in Liverpool, with the highest amount being spent in the poorest constituency.


Last month a gambling addict spoke out against high-stake gambling machines, saying he lost a month’s salary in a couple of hours.

Roger Radler said the FOBTs are the “crack cocaine” of the gambling industry.

A millionaire, who made his fortune through inventing a casino game, is now funding a campaign to get rid of the machines.


Derek Webb said: “On table roulette, everyone has their own set of chips, makes their own bets on the live table and it takes a minute or two to get the resolution”.

But FOBTs are computerised, so are very quick to restart a new game when one has just finished.

Last year a man who lost £16,000 on the machines said addictive gambling machines have contributed to the number of “problem gamblers” soaring to nearly half a million.

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