UK Government Postpones Action against Betting Machines

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Lawmakers are waiting for the gambling industry-funded report to come out before taking action against FOBTs.

Despite recent evidence that fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) are spreading uncontrollably across the UK and causing gamblers to lose a great deal of money, the Government refuses to change British gambling laws for now.

In yesterday’s debate held at the House of Commons, the majority voted against a Labour motion calling for the Government to allow local councils to limit the number of high-stakes gambling machines. The motion was defeated by 314 to 232, but politicians did show some support for the initiative.

Tory MP Zac Goldsmith commented: “It’s hard to disagree with Labour’s motion today to empower local authorities to decide re betting machines/bookies. Localism, surely?”

Report on FOBTs to be released this autumn

While telling Labour leader Ed Miliband that he “absolutely shares his concerns” regarding FOBTs, British Prime Minister David Cameron made it clear that the government won’t take any legal action until a report on the impact of gambling machine is released. However, anti-gambling campaigners fear the industry-funded study won’t reflect the real damage done by FOBTs and have compiled their own data.

The information was quickly picked up by gambling news all over the world, as figures show gamblers can lose up to GBP100 every 20 seconds while playing these machines. In addition, police and bookmakers have admitted that FOBTs are used by drug dealers for money laundering.

The Labour motion would give local councils control over the number of machines in each shop. Despite the fact that the motion was defeated, the government coalition indicated that certain regulations are on the way.

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