MP Gordon Brown advises the Scottish Parliament to allow control over the number of FOBTs.
Britain’s battle against fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) is far from being over. Recent gambling news report that Scottish gamblers are spending the most money on fixed odds betting terminals per head of population.
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath are at the top of the list, with figures revealing that gamblers from Kirkcaldy alone have spent an average of GBP 1,212 per person in 2013. While much has been said about the need to stop FOBTs, no political action has yet been taken.
After hearing the figures from the press, councilor Bob Young, chairman of the Fife Licensing Board, commented: “I find these figures absolutely staggering and heartbreaking because of the despair they can lead to among families.”
Addiction or leisure?
Politicians spoke out against FOBTs, some even calling them the “crack cocaine of gambling”. It’s no wonder FOBTs are considered to be addictive, as the maximum stake is not regulated under British gambling laws, allowing players to lose up to GBP 100 every 20 seconds.
MP Gordon Brown believes that the Scottish Parliament should give local councils control over the number of betting shops in their area.
On the other hand, bookmaker Ladbroker believes that the outrageous figures “have little basis on reality”. “Our shops are largely based on being on high streets where there is high footfall and where they can cater for the millions of people who enjoy betting as a leisure pursuit,” a company spokesman commented.