LGA responds to APPG review of maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals

LGA press release 31 January 2017

Responding to an All Party Parliamentary Group review of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), which recommends maximum stakes are reduced from £100 to £2, Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

"This cross-party review supports what we have been calling for and we urge government to take swift action by lowering maximum stakes on FOBTs to £2 to protect vulnerable people from harm.

"As well as leading to spiralling debt, problem gambling can impact on individuals and their families' physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing as well as having a wider impact on society through crime and disorder.

"With rates of problem gambling higher among those who live near clusters of bookmakers, it is essential that, as the report also recommends, councils are given powers to stop further clusters of betting shops on our high streets.

"Councils are not anti-bookie but a new cumulative impact test - which the LGA has previously called for and which government has introduced through the Police and Crime Act for alcohol licensing - would give them the power to veto new shops in areas already saturated by betting shops.

"Following this APPG review and the largest ever Sustainable Communities Act proposal to government calling for stakes to be reduced to £2, government should use its current review to reduce FOBT stakes immediately."

31 January 2017

Contact

Alan Harris
0207 664 3333
alan.harris@local.gov.uk