GAMBLING machines in Berwick constituency betting shops raked in £30 million in the past financial year.
Analysis undertaken by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, focused on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), touch-screen betting machines that are capable of processing bets of up to £100 every 20 seconds. The Berwick constituency currently has 29 FOBTs, spread around eight licensed bookies. The Gambling Act 2005 limits each betting shop to a maximum of just four FOBTs.
A total of £30,338,187 was gambled in 2011/12 with a gross gambling yield of £946,551, among the very lowest in the north east.
Adrian Parkinson, Campaign for Fairer Gambling consultant, echoed critics of the machines, who have labelled them “the crack cocaine of gambling.”
Culture minister Hugh Robertson declared last week that any new laws on FOBTs “must be based on fact, not anecdote.”