UK government rejects calls to lower FOBT stakes

The UK government has rejected calls from councils across England and Wales to lower the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

Some 93 councils, led by Newham Council, had requested that the maximum stake on the controversial machines be reduced from £100 (€144/$157) to just £2 and new licensing laws to prevent the clustering of betting shops in certain areas of the UK.

The proposal had been put forward under legislation that enables local councils to urge central government to change the law in order to help them promote the “sustainability of local communities”.

However, the government has rejected the plea, stating that it has already introduced stronger controls for FOBTs.

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales hit out at the decision, branding it as an “insult” to councils adding that betting shops have “taken over” high streets across the UK.

“We will challenge this decision, because without a reduction in stakes, FOBTs will continue to blight the nation’s high streets,” Sir Robin said, according to the BBC.

“Current planning and gambling laws are failing to protect our towns and high streets.”

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