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Betting shops update

The Guardian reported yesterday that one Council has voted to ban ‘Fixed Odds Betting Terminals’ (FOBTs). As ever, it is useful to look behind the headlines.

No Council has the power to ban the machines, the prevalence of which is often used by residents to object to further betting shop licences being granted. The provision of up to 4 FOBTs is a statutory entitlement under Gambling Act 2005, subject to ‘sufficient facilities for betting’ being provided. What Liverpool City Council has done is to vote to call on the Government to ban the machines, or give Councils the powers to restrict numbers.

However, it is interesting that the issue garnered sufficient momentum to receive a unanimous vote from Councillors.