'High stakes gambling machines can do real damage to people’s lives' - councillor calls for government action over betting shops (From Haringey Independent)
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Haringey borough councillor calls for government action over Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in betting shops
A councillor has warned of the damage high stakes gambling machines can do after figures released show punters spent more than £365million on them in Haringey.
Earlier today the Haringey Independent revealed the huge sum of money that had been spent using Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in the borough’s bookmakers.
Haringey Borough Council has been looking at the issue of clustering of betting shops for several years.
In response to the figures, Councillor Nilgun Canver, cabinet member for environment, said: “High stakes gambling machines can do real damage to people’s lives - particularly those suffering from addiction.
“There clearly need to be new limits on the quantity of these machines allowed and the large sums people are able to spend in such a short space of time.
“More generally, it’s clear in Haringey that betting shops continue to target areas with high levels of deprivation."
Cllr Canver said the machines led to crime and affected the local economy, and called for a way to limit the spread of betting shops.
She added: "If the Government really believes in localism, it should give councils real powers to stop betting shops proliferating further.”
The figures were collected by new campaign called Stop the FOBTs from the group the Campaign for Fairer Gambling which launched its latest drive at the Houses of Parliament last night.