The latest figures indicate that UK’s Dacorum Borough has spent more than £99.5 million in gambling, this year. The money has been spent in 22 licenced gambling outlets, out of which 16 belong to the town of Hemel Hempstead.
An unfair bet
Organisations like the Campaign for Fairer Gambling allege that the fairly new betting machines with fixed odds are responsible for money guzzling. While the normal betting machines require a preset stake of £2, the ones found around Dacorum allows players to bet up to £100. The money can be bet at a frequency of 20 seconds each and payments can be though cash or a debit card. These factors, many say, is why Dacorum has pumped around £18,523,408 into these betting machines.
As debt increases in Dacorum, the Campaign for Fairer Gambling has urged the government to regulate the fixed-odds betting machines. They have stressed the need for the stake to be fixed at £2 to prevent gambling from being a major menace. They are hoping that the public joins hands with them in their endeavour.
Already Tony Breslin, Hemel Hempstead’s MP, has vowed to bring up the matter with Prime Minister David Cameron and, also, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – Sajid Javid. He pointed out that the machines are built to rake in maximum profits and that the destruction of families and communities was irreparable.
Breslin also highlighted the fact that betting outlets in economically backward areas outnumbered those in affluent regions. This, he said called for a united stand from members of Parliament. He has urged other MPs to step up the pressure on the government to bring the stake in fixed-odds betting machines to £2. And to help stem the crippling effects of rampant gambling.