Call for betting machine ban on Scotland’s High Streets

A committee of MSPs has called for a ban on gaming machines on Scotland’s High Streets.

The Scotland Bill will see new powers transferred to the Scottish Parliament, giving Ministers the power to reduce the number of gaming machines on High Streets.

But Holyrood’s local government and regeneration committee has said this does not go far enough and additional powers were needed to allow MSPs to issue an outright ban on Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

The committee Convenor, Kevin Stewart said: “We were given evidence about the clustering of bookmakers in some communities – for example, one parade of shops in Glasgow with three bookmakers each offering four FOBT machines – and local authorities have told us they feel powerless to do anything to restrict the number of bookmakers.”

FOBTS are a highly addictive form of gambling, with high-speed play and a maximum stake of £100 meaning you can lose a lot of money very quickly.

Responding the committee’s comments, CARE for Scotland National Director Stuart Weir said: “The conclusion reached by the committee is a welcome one.

“FOBTs are highly addictive and the combination of high speed play and the maximum stake of £100 is a toxic one.

“At the very least, the maximum stake should be reduced to £2 and the new powers on the way to Holyrood over FOBTs must be put to good use.”

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