More than £365million bet on high-stake FOBT gambling machines in Haringey betting shops

More than £350million bet on high-stake gambling machines in Haringey

More than £350million bet on high-stake gambling machines in Haringey

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Haringey Independent: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

More than £350million has been poured into gambling machines in Haringey’s betting shops, according to campaigners calling for Government action.

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling’s cause called Stop the FOBT has released figures showing the amount spent on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in every constituency in the UK.

FOBTs are betting machines found in bookmakers at which it is possible for a user to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds.

The campaign estimates the total bet at the machines in Tottenham between April 2011 and March 2012 was £191,576,351, while the amount for the same period in Hornsey and Wood Green was £173,616,068.

Tottenham MP David Lammy, who spoke at the launch of the campaign yesterday evening, called the amount "literally staggering".

He added: "More worrying of all is that the data makes clear that the poorest communities in the country are being flooded with betting shops and these machines.”

According to campaign's figures, the amount of money spent by problem gamblers in Tottenham is estimated to be around £1,401,189.

Mr Lammy added: “It is nauseating to imagine that such a huge portion of that money is being spent by problem gamblers.

“It is time that Government awoke to the fact the this is an industry profiting from poverty and desperation and the only way to turn back the tide of hardcore high street gambling is to dramatically reduce the stakes and slow down game play before more people get hooked and more lives are ruined.”

The mapping of the use of these machines in every parliamentary constituency in the UK was carried out by mapping and analysis firm Geofutures, based on data from the Gambling Commission.

In May 2012 there were an estimated 61 betting shops in Haringey with a total of 223 FOBTs machines.

The campaign is calling for the Government to reduce the maximum stake which can be bet on these betting machines from £100 to £2 and to slow down the rate of betting at terminals using legislation.

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling says the best way to stop the clustering of betting shops in high streets, which rely on FOBTs to survive, is to reduce the gaming content and amount allowed in bookies.

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