‘Crack cocaine of gambling’ to be discussed at scrutiny meeting

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The “crack cocaine of gambling” is set to be discussed at the communities scrutiny panel.

Councillors will meet tonight and the issue of fixed odds betting terminals, raised at Preston Council’s meeting last month, is set to be brought again.

The notice of motion on the gaming machines was referred to scrutiny by the council. The notice said: “Gamblers can bet, using debit cards, up to £100 every 20 seconds on FOBTs to win a jackpot of £500.” At the full council meeting in December, members voted unanimously to attempt to tackle the problem.

It was requested that the leader and the chief executive write to the secretary of state for culture, media and sport and demand “urgent action”. It was also requested that the cabinet member for planning and regulation, and the chief executive, write to the secretary of state for communities and local government stressing the need for a separate use class for betting shops.