A campaign has been launched to halt a surge in city centre roulette machines – dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling.
Bookies have been accused of by-passing legislation to flood Manchester with dangerously addictive games. The city currently has nearly 500 fixed odds betting terminals – stand-alone machines capable of taking up to £18,000 an hour.
Campaigners want the government to tighten up the rules – and the council to challenge new applications.
An application for the city centre’s 25th bookmaker, a William Hill on Deansgate, is due to be considered by licensing chiefs in the coming weeks. City centre councillor Kevin Peel – who is leading the campaign – said: “Bookies are getting round the rules laid out in the Gambling Act in order to install more of these fixed odds betting terminals – dubbed the crack cocaine of gambling due to their addictive nature.
“I say enough is enough. I am not anti-gambling or anti-bookies – I just think they should be betting shops, not mini-casinos.”
Read the full story in the Manchester Evening News online.