Powers to limit betting shops in Bolton 'don't go far enough'

The Bolton News: Cllr Kate Lewis Cllr Kate Lewis

GOVERNMENT plans to give councils power to limit the number of betting shops in town centres do not go far enough, a councillor has warned.

Cllr Kate Lewis received unanimous backing to her anti-gambling motion at the latest full council meeting, which called on the government to do more to stop the proliferation of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in towns like Bolton.

This week the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced that councils would be able to refuse a planning application for a betting shop if they are concerned too many are opening in an area — one of the demands of Cllr Lewis’ motion.

But the Breightmet councillor, who is one of the leading members on anti-poverty issues within Bolton Council, said the government still needed to take action on FOBTs.

The machines offer gamblers the chance to bet £100 a spin on casino-style, addictive games, meaning they can lose thousands in minutes.

Cllr Lewis said: “Any move to give more power to local authorities over their high street is a step in the right direction.

“Unfortunately this only addresses one of the demands of the motion passed by Bolton Council.

“Unless the government tackles the specific issue of fixed-odds betting terminals, this change alone will make little or no difference to the lives of people hooked on these machines.

“It is about time the coalition government took meaningful action to prevent the misery these terminals can cause.”

As part of Cllr Lewis’ motion the council is also committed to writing to the government to demand further action on FOBTs, and explore other options to reduce the problems caused by the machines.

Comments (4)

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9:15am Thu 1 May 14

Reed Lover says...

How can you possibly lose thousands in minutes? The plural of anecdote is not fact. I know journalists tend to have qualifications in English but a grasp of basic mathematics wouldn't go amiss. Suggesting that you can lose thousands in minutes makes the author look stupid.
How can you possibly lose thousands in minutes? The plural of anecdote is not fact. I know journalists tend to have qualifications in English but a grasp of basic mathematics wouldn't go amiss. Suggesting that you can lose thousands in minutes makes the author look stupid. Reed Lover
  • Score: 1

10:32am Thu 1 May 14

Beyond News Forum says...

I agree however, can we not also limit pound stores and payday loan businesses along with cheque cashing, pawn shops and chuggers?

Also can someone at Poundstretcher PLEASE do something about that unsightly, horrible window display of loo rolls? Your manager needs a real kick up the backside.
I agree however, can we not also limit pound stores and payday loan businesses along with cheque cashing, pawn shops and chuggers? Also can someone at Poundstretcher PLEASE do something about that unsightly, horrible window display of loo rolls? Your manager needs a real kick up the backside. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 0

11:26am Thu 1 May 14

Balboa says...

Another meddling councillor wishing to impose restrictions on the public's freedom to decide how they wish to spend their own time and money.
Another meddling councillor wishing to impose restrictions on the public's freedom to decide how they wish to spend their own time and money. Balboa
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Thu 1 May 14

Reed Lover says...

Balboa wrote:
Another meddling councillor wishing to impose restrictions on the public's freedom to decide how they wish to spend their own time and money.
Absolutely correct. These people are only interested in wielding power, in this case power to remove liberty and freedom of choice. Disgusting.
Low hanging fruit like betting shops and pound shops are easy targets that distract attention away from the real issues of urban and social decay, jobs, minimum wage, zero hours contracts, quality of life and housing for all.
This stupid councillor thinks cutting back on liberties and freedoms is her mandate. Stop trying to save us from ourselves and start saving us from you.
[quote][p][bold]Balboa[/bold] wrote: Another meddling councillor wishing to impose restrictions on the public's freedom to decide how they wish to spend their own time and money.[/p][/quote]Absolutely correct. These people are only interested in wielding power, in this case power to remove liberty and freedom of choice. Disgusting. Low hanging fruit like betting shops and pound shops are easy targets that distract attention away from the real issues of urban and social decay, jobs, minimum wage, zero hours contracts, quality of life and housing for all. This stupid councillor thinks cutting back on liberties and freedoms is her mandate. Stop trying to save us from ourselves and start saving us from you. Reed Lover
  • Score: -1

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