The Oldham Liberal Democrat Group has welcomed news that a move to cut the maximum stake on addictive gambling machines from £100 to £2 that could be announced soon.
The government is understood to have accepted recommendations that stakes for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) should be reduced to £2, and a final announcement is expected shortly now the local elections are over.
Commenting, Leader of the Opposition and of the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, said: “Bringing the stakes down to £2 would help prevent vulnerable players from losing £100 in seconds in a single play, which many people simply cannot afford to lose. It is an issue that Liberal Democrats have been campaigning on for a while now, and we back Government action being taken on this issue.”
“The harm to individuals, and their family members, caused by addictive gambling is becoming an issue of growing national concern. Research has shown that problem gambling, often linked to FOBTs, leads to debt, anti-social behaviour, crime and poor mental health. This creates huge costs for the NHS, councils and the criminal justice system. People losing money through Fixed Odds Betting Terminals often turn to payday lenders and loan sharks to pay off debts or fund their gambling habit.”
Fixed Odds Betting Terminals or B2s are touch screen roulette machines found in betting shops across Britain, on which gamblers can play casino style games, currently with a £100 maximum stake per spin.