£2 max bet plan closer to reality

Max �2 bets on fixed odds betting terminals are one step closer. Picture: Press Association

Max �2 bets on fixed odds betting terminals are one step closer. Picture: Press Association - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Casino-style gambling on the high street could become a thing of the past after a campaign by Newham Council attracted enough support to enable it to lobby the government.

Its proposal to slash the maximum bet per spin on a Fixed Odds Betting Terminal from £100 to £2 has been backed by 92 councils up and down the country - giving it the largest ever cross-party support.

The government now has a duty to reach a decision on the submission within a year after Newham council lodged a Sustainable Communities Act proposal with the Department for Communities and Local Government last week.

There are currently 86 betting shops in Newham, an increase of almost 30 per cent since 2007. High Street North in East Ham has 17 betting shops alone.

Sir Robin Wales, the Mayor of Newham, said: “We are fighting hard to ensure that our high streets are not dominated by betting shops who are solely concerned with making a quick buck on a computer roulette-wheel.

“We are standing up for our residents as we pledged to, in a bid to rid our high streets of these clusters of betting shops. We believe that this simple step, which can be taken by government as part of their review of stakes, could be the solution to the problem of clustering.”

With up to four machines allowed per shop, £72,000 could be spent on FOBTs during peak hours.

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Earlier this month an Ipsos Mori poll found that 70 per cent of respondents believed that the current £100 maximum bet is too high.

The Campaign for Fairing Gambling has supported Newham Council’s campaign.

A spokesperson said: “It would be irresponsible of the Government to ignore so many local authorities, all of which are calling for a stake reduction on FOBTs.

“Councils are on the front line in having to deal with the consequences of high stake, high speed casino gambling on the high street.”

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