£60m spent on gambling machines in Scunthorpe area betting shops
MORE than £60 million was spent on gambling machines in Scunthorpe-area betting shops in the last financial year, new figures show.
A report by the Campaign For Fairer Gambling shows £60,676,373 was spent at 58 fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), across 16 shops in the Scunthorpe Parliamentary constituency.
The machines allow gamblers to stake large sums of money on casino games such as roulette and blackjack, as well as simulated horse racing and bingo.
A further £22,753,640 was gambled across 22 FOBTs in six betting shops in the Brigg and Goole constituency.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
And £56,884,100 was gambled across 55 FOBTs located across 15 betting shops in the Cleethorpes constituency, which includes Barton.
Adrian Parkinson, who worked for Tote, a British bookmaker formed by the UK government, but sold to Betfred in 2011, was involved with launching fixed-odds betting terminals and authored the study.
He said: "Everybody in the industry has seen a problem.
"Addiction is not just of substance.
"I was one of the people that put FOBTs on the high street.
"I saw the problems that had been caused by the gaming machines."
Nic Dakin, MP for Scunthorpe, said: "Sixty million pounds is a huge amount of money to be raised from people betting on those machines in Scunthorpe.
"It is crucially important that betting shops are alert to anyone getting addicted to this or any other form of gambling and take action to protect them from that addiction."
Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg said: "There is not enough education about the potential addictiveness that gambling provides."
Figures from the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) show 70 per cent of customers play the fixed odds machines once a month or less.
A spokesman for the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB), said: "The truth is there is no empirical evidence of a casual link between electronic gaming machines and problem gambling in our shops."
Culture Minister Hugh Robertson has rejected the idea of creating new laws to restrict FOBTs or the betting shops where they are located.
The minister said he would only change the law if new evidence came to light.
As well as FOBTs in betting shops, there are also 177 gaming machines licensed by North Lincolnshire Council across the region.