Tag Archives: fixed odds betting terminals

1 November 2018 – today’s press releases

We’ve got a veritable torrent of press releases today, starting with an example of the Party being rather more radical than Labour…

Cable: £1.3 billion for higher-rate payers should be used to reverse welfare cuts

The Liberal Democrats have announced they will be voting against the Government’s plans to raise the higher-rate tax threshold to £50,000.

The policy – announced in Monday’s budget – will cost an estimated £1.3 billion pounds next year, money which could instead be used to reverse cuts to Universal Credit or end the benefits freeze a year early.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince …

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Why I’ve changed my mind on Fixed Odds Betting terminals

As a liberal I have some rather quaint ideas, one of which is that I generally don’t like the state banning things, because generations of governments have shown they don’t know better than the people, but I make an exception for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.

The hard wall of my instinctive view has been destroyed by the cold reason of my personal experience, the very process that powered liberal progressiveness for generations.

I began a new, and comfortably the most prestigious, job of my life in July 2017, it was akin to being flung into a scalding vat of water such was the pressure.

My way of dealing with it was, at the end of the day, to adjourn to a betting shop between my workplace and the train station, where I bet tiny sums on the outcomes of horse races.

The amount I have bet in the last nine months is comfortably less than I have spent on being a member of the Liberal Democrats in that time, and I win more often.

But while those of us betting on horses have an easy after work camaraderie, a dull intensity pierces the betting shop in the form of those huddled over the terminals, feeding wads of cash into the machines, convinced they have cracked the game of chance

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Lord Tim Clement-Jones writes…A record number of councils are calling for a clampdown on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – the Government must act

I’m now eight weeks into my New Year’s resolution to spend my Fridays campaigning with some of our fantastic target seat candidates across the country. One thing that has struck me on the doorsteps is that it is not the high politics of opinion polls, votes in Parliament and endless speculation on personalities that matter to people. What actually matters is local issues – from their kid’s school to the shops on their local high street.

With that in mind, I recently lead a debate in the Lords on concerns expressed by 93 councils in England and Wales over the growth of high street betting machines. Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) offer high speed, high stakes gambling – with punters able to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds. To offer some comparison, other high street locations have a limit of £2 a stake and even casinos limit machine stakes to £5. Effectively, these machines have turned high street bookmakers into casinos, offering astonishingly hard forms of gambling right on people’s doorsteps.

I am not anti-gambling – but I’m concerned about the spiralling number of these machines for two reasons. Firstly, they are fuelling the proliferation of betting shops in poorer areas. It is now a common sight to see two or three betting shops on one high street. Indeed, on one street in Newham, there is an astonishing 18 betting shops and that equates to 72 FOBT machines. It’s still a tough climate for high streets; but the solution certainly isn’t betting shops sucking money out of local communities and causing huge social problems.

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