Newham residents lose £18million on fixed-odds betting terminals

A fixed odd betting terminal. Picture: PA Images/Daniel Hambury

A fixed odd betting terminal. Picture: PA Images/Daniel Hambury - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

Residents across Newham lost £18million on fixed-odds betting terminals last year.

Research carried out by The Campaign for Fairer Gambling reveals that £96,440,186 in cash was inserted into betting terminals across the borough in 2014, leading to losses of £18,323,635.

The figures have been released just days before the Government is due to decide whether or not to endorse the campaign led by Newham Council which calls for the maximum stake on the betting machines to be limited to £2 per go from the current £100.

London mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan, is backing the campaign, which is also supported by 94 other local authorities.

The Labour MP said: “We need to make a difference to people’s lives in Newham by giving councillors the powers to crackdown on this blight.

“The explosion in the use of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals over the last decade and the sheer amount of money being lost in them is a cause for deep concern.

“We already knew that bookies were targeting the desperate and vulnerable by deliberately setting-up shop in deprived communities, but now we know just how much money they’re extracting from the people they prey on.”

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The research found that residents across the capital inserted almost £2.5 billion into fixed-odds betting terminals last year, losing a total of £458,548,974.

A spokesperson for The Campaign for Fairer Gambling said: “The increasing clustering and proliferation of betting shops and fixed-odds betting terminals across London is a major issue that the next mayor of London will need to tackle.

“The issue is getting worse with an 80 per cent increase in the number of betting shops now located in town centres and major high streets across London boroughs.”

London residents have lost approximately £3billion in the betting terminals since 2008 - a sum which accounts for around 30 per cent of all losses nationwide.

Under the Gambling Act 2005, betting shops are allowed to have up to four fixed-odds betting terminals on their premises. Many include a digital game of roulette, while others simulate horse racing, bingo and a range of slot machine games.

The government is set to make a decision on whether to approve Newham Council’s campaign on Thursday.