Search

Camden residents lose £16m on ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machines in one year

PUBLISHED: 15:33 22 July 2015 | UPDATED: 16:11 22 July 2015

A fixed odd betting terminal. Picture: PA Images/Daniel Hambury

A fixed odd betting terminal. Picture: PA Images/Daniel Hambury

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Camden residents lost a staggering £16million on betting machines last year alone – leading to calls for the government to clamp down on what is being called the “crack cocaine” of the gambling industry.

Figures showed gamblers in the borough had lost £16,491,272 betting on controversial Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) as part of losses in the capital totaling £459m.

The vast profits accumulated by the machines, viewed as more addictive than other forms of gambling, has prompted calls for their use to be curbed.

The figures, provided to London Mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan MP, also showed the city’s residents have lost approximately £3 billion on FOBT’s since 2008 – equivalent to 39,000 jobs.

Mr Khan said: “We need to make a difference to people’s lives in Camden by giving councillors the powers to crackdown on this blight.

“The explosion in the use of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals over the last decade and the sheer amount of money being lost in them is a cause for deep concern.

“We already knew that bookies were targeting the desperate and vulnerable by deliberately setting-up shop in deprived communities, but now we know just how much money they’re extracting from the people they prey on.

“The astronomical sums which are being leeched by the gambling industry from some of our most impoverished communities ought to be a stain on our collective social conscience and a spur for genuine action.

“It is clear that tougher regulation is needed to combat these machines, and the misery they are inflicting on our communities.

“The truth is Labour ministers got this wrong in the past and we need to fix it before another generation become addicted to using these machines which ruin so many people’s lives.”

The government recently rejected requests from 93 councils for powers to allow them to limit the maximum stake on FOBTs to £2.

A spokesperson for The Campaign for Fairer Gambling said: “The increasing clustering and proliferation of betting shops and FOBTs across London is a major issue that the next mayor of London will need to tackle.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 18:06

A young man was stabbed in Kentish Town this afternoon.

Yesterday, 16:15

Police are trying to find Nadia Ellewood, who has gone missing from Belsize Park.

Yesterday, 13:35

Police chased a Volkswagen Polo across three boroughs on Monday morning after it crashed into a patrol car at low speed.

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Crouch End inventor is crowdfunding to launch an innovative and wearable air pollution monitor inspired by his own worries as a new dad.

Friday, December 7, 2018

British Transport Police are looking to speak to a man about three women being racially abused on an underground train.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Carlton Tavern could be reopened in April, nine months after the planning inspectorate told them to rebuild it.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Coffee isn’t the only thing Deniz Korkmaz is brewing up in Kentish Town.

Friday, December 7, 2018

We chat to five local designers and artists who tell us about the one thing they must have or do at home that puts them in the Christmas mood

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now