Time to tackle high-stakes gambling machines?

Bournemouth Echo: Time to tackle high-stakes gambling machines? Time to tackle high-stakes gambling machines?

AN MP has vowed to help review the issue of “addictive” high stakes slot machines amid claims punters are spending £1.17m per day in Dorset.

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling says £427 million was fed into high-stakes betting machines at bookmakers across parliamentary constituencies in and surrounding Bournemouth and Poole last year. See the figures here (download)

The Association of British Bookmakers has dismissed the figures as flawed because they are based on estimates of turnover at the machines rather than actual money spent.

But the Campaign maintains that a change is needed to lower the maximum spend in each machine. At the moment, gamblers can stake up to £100 every 20 seconds. The CFG would like that reduced to £2 and the time between games increased.

Conor Burns is Conservative MP for Bournemouth West, where the figures estimate that £118m spent in just 80 machines  – more than £4,000 per machine per day, the highest in the region.

Mr Burns said the Commons Culture and Media Select Committee, of which he is a member, is looking at a draft of a new gambling bill in parliament.

He said: “These machines are highly addictive and are particularly profitable as they return so little to those who are putting money into them.

“We are looking into this as a committee.”

Mr Burns said in the economic downturn people are increasingly attracted to the “get rich fast options”.

The ABB claims 97 per cent of cash inserted into the machines is paid back out but the Campaign for Fairer Gambling disagrees.

£427, 074, 527 was estimated to be spent across the parliamentary constituencies of Bournemouth East, Bournemouth West, Poole, Mid Dorset and North Poole, Christchurch, South Dorset and North Dorset.

In a statement the ABB dismissed the figures, saying only three per cent of the figure estimated is spent by their customers – around £12.8m.

Comments (4)

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1:42pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Arjay says...

Talk about a statement of the 'bleedin' obvious'!

Gambling is just like alcohol consumption. Potentially very addictive.

Dangerously so for some members of the community.

Past laws regulating both may have seemed draconian, by today's standards, but you can bet that they were orginally introduced to combat the very problems we are seeing described here.

Our ancestors way of life may seem 'quaint' to us, in many ways. But they weren't stupid. They knew that gambling needed to be carefully controlled, to prevent the kind of chaotic results to some peoples' lives that unfettered indulgence in this dangerous pastime can bring....

Gambling may be OK for some folk (although if you aren't a gambler, it just seems like a stupid way to throw money away) but relaxing the regulations too far was always likely to end in tears.
As I say, a bit obvious really?......
Talk about a statement of the 'bleedin' obvious'! Gambling is just like alcohol consumption. Potentially very addictive. Dangerously so for some members of the community. Past laws regulating both may have seemed draconian, by today's standards, but you can bet that they were orginally introduced to combat the very problems we are seeing described here. Our ancestors way of life may seem 'quaint' to us, in many ways. But they weren't stupid. They knew that gambling needed to be carefully controlled, to prevent the kind of chaotic results to some peoples' lives that unfettered indulgence in this dangerous pastime can bring.... Gambling may be OK for some folk (although if you aren't a gambler, it just seems like a stupid way to throw money away) but relaxing the regulations too far was always likely to end in tears. As I say, a bit obvious really?...... Arjay

2:16pm Tue 29 Jan 13

chris100 says...

why have you got pics of fruit machines as they are diffrent to fobts
also the goverment from friday are scrapping the licence fee for amusement machines and they are taking 20% of the gross cashbox so i dnt think they realy care what mr burns says as they will be making more money
why have you got pics of fruit machines as they are diffrent to fobts also the goverment from friday are scrapping the licence fee for amusement machines and they are taking 20% of the gross cashbox so i dnt think they realy care what mr burns says as they will be making more money chris100

2:25pm Tue 29 Jan 13

paul.p says...

Perhaps they could look at how many Bingo and Poker ads there are, it's getting a bit OTT.
Perhaps they could look at how many Bingo and Poker ads there are, it's getting a bit OTT. paul.p

12:17pm Wed 30 Jan 13

really?? seriously?? says...

I bet they dont do anything. Ill give 10 / 1
lol
I bet they dont do anything. Ill give 10 / 1 lol really?? seriously??

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