UK’s Labour Party to Force Vote on Fixed Odds Betting Machines
The UK’s Labour party will be forcing a vote in Parliament on its plans to give councils the right to ban fixed odds betting machines from bookmakers in their constituencies.The party is intending to use an opposition day debate in the House of Commons this week to try and force the government into taking action on the issue.
At present there are roughly 33,000 fixed odd machines in the UK which generate around £1.5 billion each year for the larger bookmakers.
The machines regularly come under fire from UK campaign groups and politicians as they allow players to spend up to £300 a minute.
The Labour leader, Ed Milliband, has said that the machines are “becoming an epidemic” in some parts of the country and has promised to change laws in order to curb their growth should the Labour party regain power.
Ironically, it was the previous Labour government which relaxed the gambling laws to allow the machines to be installed. However, the party is now accusing the gambling industry of exploiting these laws to target the poorer areas of the UK.
The government recently voted against reducing the maximum stake on the machines from £100 to £2 but Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to take a “proper look” at the matter.