The Conservative government has rejected calls to reduce maximum wager on gambling machines to £2.
The bid to lower maximum wagers on the machines was led by Newham Council, in order to minimise the increase in betting shops opening within particularly deprived areas. The council would try to attach the proposal to new provisions introduced on the monitoring of betting shops in UK councils.
The government’s decision not to lower maximum wagers, has been criticised by Newham Mayor, Sir Robin Wales who commented
“Current planning and gambling laws are failing to protect our towns and high streets. The Campaign for Fairer Gambling, which supports a lower maximum stake, said: “Councils are the ones who know the impact of FOBTs in their areas.”
The government noted that it took council concerns into account, however it had recently passed new legislation regulating UK bookmakers and adding further consumer protections with additional gambling controls.
A government spokesman said: “We do not support Newham Council’s proposal as we have already acted by introducing stronger gambling controls to further protect players and promote responsible gambling, in April.
“This includes putting an end to unsupervised stakes above £50 on FOBTs and giving more powers to local authorities to stop new betting shops opening up in their areas. The government will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing controls and will take further action if necessary.”