Midlothian MP chimes in on new gambling concern

Midlothian MP David Hamilton (Lab) has backed Ed Miliband’s pledge to tackle addictive ‘fixed odds betting terminals’ located in bookmakers.

The machines can accept up to £300 per minute in stakes from a single player and have been the cause of problem gambling and serious debt.

Mr Hamilton said: “I support Ed Miliband’s tough stance on these addictive machines 100 per cent.

“This is not about stopping people putting a bet on the horses or the football. These machines are more suited to casinos than to our high streets and they encourage problem gambling.

“There will be families who are going without, because of the hold these dangerous machines have over players. Labour is absolutely right to stand up to the betting companies and get this issue under control. I look forward to seeing the positive results for our high streets.”

Each machine makes an average weekly profit of £825 from customers, with up to four machines permitted in each bookmakers.

Ed Miliband has announced that Labour would re-classify betting shops to make it easier for councils to use planning powers to halt their spread.

Labour would also review the number of the highly addictive FOBTs allowed in each premises and could ban them altogether.