PM’s former speech writer calls for betting machine ban

The Prime Minister’s former speech writer Clare Foges has said the government should ban betting machines.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Ms Foges said it was time for the government to not just speak out, but to act on fixed odd betting terminals (FOBTs). She added that these machines are a “scourge on High Streets across Britain”.

In June 2015, Lord Clement-Jones introduced a new bill in the House of Lords which is the first serious legislative attempt to reduce the maximum stake on FOBTs. Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper a month after the bill received its first reading, CARE’s Director of Parliamentary Affairs Dan Boucher said the government should give the bill its backing.

At the moment, FOBTs have a maximum stake of £100 and combined with the high-speed nature of the games played, many campaigners have rightly labelled them the “crack cocaine of gambling”.

Commenting recently to the Sun on Sunday newspaper on the effects of FOBTs on society, Dan Boucher said because of the nature of the games available and the maximum stake of £100 FOBTs are “socially destructive”.

For more on the Gambling Bill before the House of Lord’s please see here.

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