MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, Keith Brown MSP, is calling on the UK Government to take tougher action to tackle the blight of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) which remains reserved to Westminster. This action could include reducing the numbers allowed in betting shops, limiting the stakes that can be bet, reducing the time that can be spent on the machines, and also taking action to ban the machines altogether if people continue to lose out.
This renewed call comes following the recently released figures by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling which estimates that since 2008, an estimated £10,585,791 has been lost through FOBT in Clackmannanshire.
Mr Brown said: “These figures are extremely worrying and are proof that things cannot stay as they are. The Tory Government in Westminster cannot continue to ignore this issue which is having a devastating impact on local communities.
“Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are known as the “crack cocaine of gambling” because they are so addictive and it is estimated that since 2008, problem gamblers in Clackmannanshire alone have lost £4,234,317.
“The UK Government must take action to stop people losing even more by reducing the number of machines allowed in bookmakers, limiting the stakes that can be bet, reducing the amount of time that can be spent on the machines, and taking action to ban the machines altogether if people continue to lose out.
“For far too long the UK Government has been inactive and I hope these new figures will make them realise that tough action is needed to help people with gambling problems.”