MP SPEAKS OUT OVER ‘DAMAGING’ FIXED ODDS BETTING MACHINES

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Island MP Bob Seely has this week spoken out against fixed odds betting machines (FOBT) and the gambling industry in parliament as the government seeks to consult on lowering stakes people can play.

Bob has said that the industry has taken £19million from the Island’s economy since 2008, often targeting the poorer in society.

The MP, who came to power in May of this year, states the industry is “irresponsible and deeply selfish” in its attitude and itself “addicted” to the profits the machines make.

Bob has welcomed the government consultation on lowering the stakes on FOBTs, which are presently £100 and he said he would like to see them cut to £2 on the 55 machines that operate on the Isle of Wight.

“These machines are incredibly damaging – they are the crack cocaine of the gambling world and they are damaging lives on the Island.

“The consultation must really address issues of problem gambling and toughen up the regulation for betting companies, who are making vast profits.  Other measures to restrict advertising and access to gambling online for under 18s, for example, are welcome.  My view remains more needs to be done by government on this issue.”

Islanders can take part in the consultation by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures.

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