High-stakes roulette machines 'ruin lives'


Labour is to force a vote in Parliament on its plans to give councils the power to ban high-stakes roulette machines from bookmakers' shops.

The so-called fixed odds betting terminals allow punters to bet up to £300 a minute, and account for almost half of the big bookmakers’ annual profits.

Matt Zarb-Cousin, a former addict of the machines who now campaigns for Fairer Gambling, told the Today programme’s Sarah Montague that this form of gambling “ruins lives”, after he first used them aged 16 without being asked for ID.

He continued: “I know people who have lost £250,000 on these machines.”

Neil Goulden, chairman of the Association of British Bookmakers, said that “there are very few problem gamblers in the UK”.

He added that in the UK “we have the best regulated and most socially responsible gambling industry in the world”.

BBC Radio 4 Today

BBC Radio 4 Today

Contributed by BBCR4Today
Jan 08, 2014, 09:47 AM
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