Gambling machines under fire in UK

A ComRes survey found that a vast majority in the Parliament support a FOBTs clampdown.

More than two thirds of MPs claims tougher regulations on ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machines and Ministers are under pressure to act.

UK.- The ComRes survey found that a staggering majority of Members of Parliament want tougher regulations on gambling machines. More than two thirds of MPs believe that Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) also known as ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machines are damaging UK’s high street.

The ComRes survey showed that 72 percent of MPs, including a majority of Tories, want tougher regulations on FOBTs. The poll also found that out of 150 MPs, 81 percent believe FOBTs are having a negative impact on society and 67 percent claims the £100 stakes (US$ 144) are too high. When asked if there should be greater Government regulation of the terminals, 54 percent of Tories, 91 percent of Labour MPs and 85 percent of SNP MPs agreed or tended to agree. According to the poll’s results, 54 percent of Tory MPs and 85 percent of Labour MPs also said FOBTs were having a fairly or very negative impact on society.

The findings came as Labour MP Carolyn Harris created a cross-party group to press the government to act. The poll was conducted by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling. After the survey, Ministers came under renovated pressure to clamp down on high-stakes gaming machines.

“FOBTs are blighting our communities and ruining people’s lives,” expressed Harris. “Due to the level of concern about these machines in Parliament, I will be chairing the newly formed Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group which will scrutinise the problems being caused by these machines and the very high stakes that can be wagered on them.Concerns about FOBTs are now widespread amongst MPs from all political parties. The government even faces mounting criticism from its own backbenchers with a substantial number of Conservative MPs expressing concern about the impact on the vulnerable. The Government must urgently act to properly regulate FOBTs,” she added.