Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop has today (4th March 2014) expressed outrage at figures released by the ‘Stop the FOBTs’ campaign group.
The figures reveal that Middlesbrough FOBT users lose £1371 a year, the biggest loss per person in the North East and one of the highest in the country.
“Fixed odd betting terminals or FOBTs can swallow £100 in just 20 seconds. Last year £8.6billion was gambled on FOBTs and users lost £1.6billion.
“FOBT users in Middlesbrough lose, on average, £1371 and the gambling industry knows this. That’s why bookmakers concentrate their shops in the town, Middlesbrough has 42 betting shop licenses more than double that of neighboring Hartlepool.
“The government has already passed on one opportunity to cap the number of machines and the maximum bet but I’m calling on them to think again. I will be meeting with representatives from the gambling industry, alongside my fellow Labour MP Graham Jones, to put ask them to impose stricter limits on maximum spending and have just one FOBT in a shop.”