Cross party fury at fixed odds bets

Local Elected Members Cllr Colin Cassidy (SNP), Cllr Margot Russell (LAB), Colin Beattie MSP (SNP), Danielle Rowley MP'(LAB) and Cllr Stephen Curran (LAB)
Local Elected Members Cllr Colin Cassidy (SNP), Cllr Margot Russell (LAB), Colin Beattie MSP (SNP), Danielle Rowley MP'(LAB) and Cllr Stephen Curran (LAB)

Midlothian politicians from across the political spectrum have come together to campaign against fixed odds betting terminals.

In a show of cross party unity Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie (SNP), Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley (Lab), and the three Dalkeith councillors have come together to campaign against the use of fixed odds betting terminals in Midlothian.

The cross party group has called on the UK government to take tougher action to tackle fixed-odds betting terminals in our communities, after figures from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling revealed that over £7 million had been lost on the gambling machines since 2008 across Midlothian.

Over £1 billion has been lost on the machines, known as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’, since 2008 across Scotland – with £1m lost in Midlothian in 2015/16 alone.

Mr Beattie said: “We need to end fixed-odds betting terminals or at the very least cap the amount which can be bet at a nominal sum.

“Fixed-odds betting terminals have brought financial misery to many and action needs to be taken now to control their use.”

Ms Rowley said: “I recognise the addictive and harmful nature of fixed-odds betting terminals and a Labour government would reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2 and legislate to increase the delay between spins to reduce the addictive nature of the games. I urge the government to act now to protect our communities from financial and emotional harm.”