Steve Calls for Councils to Have More Control Over Betting Shops

(February 27, 2013)

Steve & Lord Mayor

Liverpool Waton MP, Steve Rotheram  has called for council's to have greater control over betting shops. 

Steve, who is a member of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee which has been looking at this issue, said, "Three of Liverpool's parliamentary constituencies are ranked very highly in terms of betting shops, machines and the amount gambled.

“This particular issue polarizes opinion, because on the one hand people are free to choose to bet, but on the other these extreme clusters of betting shops can be damaging.

“At present there is an almost arbitrary cap of four. Some of my Tory colleagues on the committee wanted it removed but we managed to recommend that local authorities should be allowed to decide if the number of machines is increased or decreased. In Riverside and Walton there are already an extremely high number of these machines, known as the ‘crack-cocaine’ of gambling because they are so addictive.”

In a letter to a national newspaper, some of Mr Rotheram’s Labour colleagues have accused the betting industry of taking advantage of these blackspots and likened bookies to pay-day loan companies.

Steve said he has “sympathy with the sentiments” of his fellow Labour MPs, but decided not to sign their letter.


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