Government cuts stakes on fixed betting machines

By Daniel Siggins

A Leicester-based betting shop worker believes a new cap on fixed odd machine stakes may not be enough to curb gambling addictions.

Recent changes in the law now limit gamblers to spending £100 every bet on the addictive machines found in most bookmakers.

But the proposed changes have been criticised by The Labour party, who argue the measures are not enough.


A cashier bookmaker, who preferred not to be named and who has worked across many betting shops across Leicester and the Midlands, believes the measures do not go far enough.

addiction-bet-betting-casinoHe said: “They still can do 36 spins a minute when we worked it out at £2 a spin, most of the players stay there for an hour or two.

“In all honesty people addicted to the machines so they if they want to they can stay all day.”

The source said he believed about 50% of customers in betting shops use the machines. He added that in Leicester, Narborough is a particularly busy area.


He also seemed doubtful that reducing the number of spins customers could make a minute would be effective.

“Reducing the amount they could do would just mean they would stay on longer and alternate between different shops,” he said.

“There is nothing a bookmaker can do as it’s down to their self-control and financial security.”

The cashier also felt government intervention was not ideal.

He said: “We don’t force customers to come and we give them notices on the machine if they have played for a long time.

“It’s also a huge help in taxation towards the government which therefore funds other areas, it’s a lot like alcohol, no one has forced you and it is a select few who become addicted.”

However, he does not expect the changes to have a major impact on the daily life at bookmakers.

“It may reduce the amount of people using the machines as individuals will be using them for longer,”  he added.

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