The Campaign for Fairer Gambling writes for LGiU on the growing problem of betting shops on our high streets
The high speed, high stakes casino gaming machines in betting shops now constantly in the news have been described as “the crack cocaine of gambling”, and evidence suggests they are the most addictive form of gambling in the UK. It is these gaming machines, more commonly known as Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs) that are driving the clustering and proliferation of betting shops on our high streets.
Each betting shop is limited to four FOBTs, but they are so profitable that bookmakers can now afford to open multiple outlets on prime, high street locations in an attempt to maximize the number of machines. This is also contributing to higher rents and pricing many other local businesses off the high street. Whilst the number of betting shops has increased since 2005 by around 600, it is the relocation of tertiary shops to high streets that is compounding the problem for local authorities whose powers to curb their proliferation are restricted.
Read the full article on LGiU online.