Newham mayor and long-time FOBT campaigner, Sir Robin Wales, has reiterated his demands that B2 stakes be reduced following the announcement that the DCMS is beginning the triennial process.
The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales – who leads a high profile local authority campaign against FOBTs – has reacted warmly to the announcement of the Triennial Review.
“Today’s statement shows the Government is finally listening to local people by committing to look at the harm done to communities by these high stake gaming machines,” said Wales.
“We welcome the statement that gambling legislation must ensure consumers and communities are protected. That is the reason we have led a campaign, backed by 92 local authorities from across the country and political spectrum, to reduce the amount that can be bet on FOBTs. These machines, dubbed the crack-cocaine of gambling, allow up £100 to be bet every 20 seconds. We want that reduced to £2.”
The DCMS announced the long-awaited Triennial Review earlier today, strongly indicating that action will be taken on FOBTs, while also suggesting there may be movement on stakes and prizes, and machine ratios, for other gaming machine categories.
“These fast-paced, electronic machines have sucked the life-blood out of local economies. Reducing the stake will force bookies to think again about the number of betting shops they open on the high street.”
Wales added: “These fast-paced, electronic machines have sucked the life-blood out of local economies. Reducing the stake will force bookies to think again about the number of betting shops they open on the high street. I urge the Government to take prompt and decisive action and heed the calls of the local authorities supporting Newham’s campaign, who together represent an astonishing 23 million people.
“We now look forward to providing robust evidence about the detrimental impact of high stake gambling machines in Newham and communities across the country in order to resolve this issue once and for all.”