The Bafta-winning screenwriter Jimmy McGovern has condemned the “immoral” Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) piling misery on some of the country’s poorest communities.
McGovern, whose upcoming BBC series Broken looks at poverty in a working-class community in Liverpool, said debts were mounting as a result of the digital gambling games inside bookmakers.
FOBT gamblers are currently able to bet up to £100 per spin on the machines, allowing players to pile up losses dramatically quickly.
Those machines are fixed to make sure you lose
“There is a need to act on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in poverty-stricken areas,” said the writer of Cracker, Hillsborough and The Streets.
“There is no economic argument for those machines at all. Those machines are fixed to make sure you lose. They are immoral. They should not be on our high streets. The rate of suicide would also go down if you banned them. It would help hundreds of people, maybe thousands.”
Labour has pledged a crackdown on FOBTs, outlining a measure to reduce the maximum stake on the digital gaming machines to £2 in its general election manifesto.