Britons Spend £46billion on gambling machines

No wonder it is called the “crack cocaine of the high street.”century casino

According to the Gambling Commission, punters in Great Britain pumped £46 billion on betting terminals between April 2012 and March 2013. This figure is almost 50 percent up from the last four years. And despite the fact that bettors sacrifice up to £100 every 20 seconds, the Gambling Commission estimate a profit of £1.55 billion from gambling machines within the same period: up 7 per cent from 2011-12 and up 47 per cent from 2009.

The same Gambling Commission figures also revealed that more than 600,000 children in 2012-13 were stopped in or tried to enter gambling shops. This is about six times as many that were counted in 2009. Also, the number of people who have prevented themselves from going to these places due to self-control concerns has increased twice over. In 2009, the “self-excluded” numbered 11,424. Now, they come up to 22,485.

The numbers increase on all fronts raises serious concern with councils, who link these gambling spots with laundering of drugs money.

According to leading Labour MP Tom Watson, gambling terminals are “a menace to every high street.” Watson urges the government to act upon its own power to act on this “urgent matter,” and he suggested that ministers should propose “lowering the stake values from £100 to £2” on fixed-odds machines, which stand for 51 per cent of gambling shop profits. They also represent 67 per cent of all betting terminal profits.

However, reducing machine stakes might be quite an insurmountable task to accomplish, since many ministers have resisted the urge. Liberal Democrat culture spokesman John Leech made it clear that “We will not be lectured on fixed-odds betting machines by Labour.” Moreover, Leech placed blame on Labour for “[introducing] these highly damaging and addictive gaming machines that have wreaked so much damage to people’s lives, in the face of Liberal Democrat warnings.”

Additionally, according to a Department of Culture review last month, reducing the stakes on gambling machines might not have that “great [of] an impact.”