In October, the Government decided not to limit the maximum spin of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) at a sensible rate, much to the dismay of many people.
FOBTs continue to take vast sums of money and drain local economies, particularly here in Medway with £200million being gambled on these machines across the 3 Medway constituencies. Medway Labour is still working hard to keep this important issue in the spotlight.
Former gambling industry employees, who are now blowing the whistle, report that the industry is flouting the Gambling Act and doing “next to nothing… to protect the vulnerable.”
It has been reported that drug dealers use FOBTs to launder money.
Vince Maple, Leader of Medway Labour Group, said: “This week alone I have been called by two Medway residents that have lost very large sums of money using these machines, both of those stories show the human impact of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. FOBTs enable people to lose hundreds of thousands of pounds yet the government refuses to do anything. We need to see action nationally now.”
Adrian Parkinson, from the campaign “Stop the FOBTs”, said: “I can’t say I’m surprised at the level of money laundering taking place on these machines – they are the only gaming machines that provide easy opportunity to carry out laundering with complete anonymity. What surprises me is that it has taken 10 years for this to make the news. I was dealing with laundering in betting shops from 2003 onward. However, we did things by the book at the Tote; Ladbrokes, Coral and possibly other large bookmakers apparently aren’t. In fact it now seems they have been trying to cover it up. As Tom Watson said earlier this week, a political inquiry is now needed to look at what national operators are doing and just what they are trying to hide.”
Ravinder Singh from Chatham said: “These machines have ruined my family life and finances. I am pleased to see Cllr Maple and the Labour Party fight against of these machines. I want to see them off of the high street.”