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MP for Hendon Matthew Offord criticises high stakes gambling
The MP for Hendon has criticised the negative impact of high stakes gambling following reports that more than £330million has been poured into betting machines in Barnet.
Matthew Offord is supporting the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, which has released figures showing the amount spent on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in every constituency in the UK.
Mr Offord said: “My view is that the availability of high stakes gambling on our high streets is clearly of serious concern.
“Many people’s lives can be blighted by gambling, either as a result of the anti-social behaviour it can generate or the enormous financial problems it can create for individuals and their families.
“A socially responsible approach is needed by both the gaming industry and government. Vast profit at the expense of vulnerable people is not acceptable.”
The Campaign for Fairer Gambling estimates that between April 2011 and March 2012, £143,721,521 was poured into the machines in Hendon, while £125,928,082 was spent in Finchley and Golders Green and £65,872,364 in Chipping Barnet.
The figures have been tallied by mapping and analysis firm Geofutures based on data from the Gambling Commission.
Campaigners want the Government to reduce the maximum stake which can be bet on these machines from £100 to £2. At the moment, gamblers can spend up to £100 every 20 seconds on the FOBTs.