Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, on which people can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds, can ruin lives. Action on them is long overdue.
I was disappointed that, in July 2015, the government rejected proposals from over 90 local councils to reduce the maximum stake on these machines from £100 to £2. The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All-Party Parliamentary Group has also called for the maximum stake to be cut from £100 to £2, on a precautionary basis and until sufficient evidence is presented that the high stakes on these machines do not cause harm. The government should urgently act on these calls.
The current review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, which applies to England, Scotland and Wales is looking at the maximum stakes and prizes for gaming machines and also at whether the right measures are in place to protect the young and vulnerable from gambling advertising. The call for evidence closed on December 4 and I will follow closely any proposals that the government brings forward as a result of this very welcome review.