Redbridge joins bid to cut high street gambling machines’ maximum bet to just £2

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 January 2016

A punter tries out a new gambling machine during the opening of new William Hill Shop on Waterloo Road

A punter tries out a new gambling machine during the opening of new William Hill Shop on Waterloo Road

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Redbridge council has said it supports a bid to cut the maximum bet on some high street gambling machines in England.

Newham Council has led a campaign urging government ministers to reduce the maximum bet from £100 to £2.

Currently, gamblers can play casino-style games with £100 maximum stake per spin on FOBTs (fixed odds betting terminals) – but risk losing their three-figure stake in just 20 seconds.

Campaigners said the move would help prevent clusters of betting shops, particularly in deprived areas.

Newham Council’s proposal was refused in July, but now the demand has been resubmitted with the support of 93 other local authorities.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “The council has previously expressed concern about the availability of FOBTs.

“The expression of our concerns to the government minister concerned, plus support from a number of other local authorities across the UK, led to a review by the government department of the odds and stakes for FOBTs and a conclusion that no change was necessary.

“The industry has produced a ‘code of practice’ in response to our and the governments’ concerns about FOBTs.

“We support any action taken by Newham.”

In 2015, gamblers lost £16,283,197 on betting machines, a small decrease on 2013/14 when around £16.5 million was gambled.

In March 2015, Cllr Ross Hatfull told the Recorder he was supportive of the proposal.

He said: “The government said it was consulting on reducing the amount that people could bet, but we do not feel that goes far enough.”

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