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Empower local authorities to deal with betting shop clustering says Dr Matt Lamb PPC for Wyre Forest

Dr Matt Lamb, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wyre Forest, has backed Labour’s plan to give councils the power to take decisions on the spread of betting shops and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

Recent evidence shows that vulnerable people are being deliberately targeted by firms placing FOBTs on local high streets where people can bet up to £300 a minute or £18,000 an hour.

In Wyre Forest there are an estimated ten betting shops operating with approximately 40 FOBTs on their premises.
Ed Miliband’s announcement recognises that betting shops are not a problem in all areas; Labour’s plans will empower local people and local authorities to take local decisions in their area.

Labour’s proposals would put betting shops in a separate class so that councils can use planning powers to control how many open in any one area. Labour would give councils the power to remove or limit the number of FOBTs in betting shops. Labour would also take the steps to reduce the potentially harmful effects of FOBTs by increasing the time between plays, requiring pop-ups to break up continuous cycles of play.

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Wyre Forest, Dr Matt Lamb, said:

“Views on betting shops and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals differ across the country. Whilst some areas have seen growth in the number of betting shops on their high streets others have not.

A centrally dictated one-size-fits-all approach to this issue would not work; this is why I am backing Ed Miliband’s plans to empower local people to take decisions on betting shops and FOBTs in their local area.

The time has come to let local people and local authorities decide if there is a need for more betting shops and FOBTs in their area.”

Dr Matt Lamb, Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wyre Forest

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