Politicians want government to look at ‘gambling vulnerabilities’ after fixed-odds betting machine decision

Politicians in Westminster are calling on the government to do more research into gambling “vulnerability hot spots” poker indonesia after its own map revealed four areas where people are at risk of problem gambling.

Westminster City Council has one of the highest concentrations of places where people can gamble, with 22 casinos – the highest number in the country – and it has 101 betting shops, making it one of the three councils with the largest number of bookies where people can have a flutter.

It wants the government to push the betting industry to fund research into gambling-related harm after it was the first council to commission its own research three years ago.

The council welcomed the government’s announcement this week to cap the maximum bet at fixed-odds poker indonesia betting terminals at £2 from £100 a bet but said “more needs to be done to address local vulnerability to gambling”.

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It uses its research to determine the most vulnerable areas for gambling so it can direct support where it is most needed.

The maps include vulnerability factors including mental health, unemployment, and the locations of homeless shelters and drug and alcohol treatment centres. They also look at people’s risk of problem gambling at home and away from home.

Westminster City Council gambling risk map looking at gambling hot spots Image: Westminster City Council

The maps were updated this month and revealed four areas of “greater risk”. These are streets around the Harrow Road in north-west Westminster, around Victoria and Pimlico in the south, poker indonesia around Paddington and the Edgware Road and in the West End.

A council spokesman said: “The heightened risk in each area is driven by a range of different factors. For example, in Pimlico risk is higher because of a greater number of homelessness shelters and substance abuse treatment providers in this area. In the North West area, risk is driven by rates of unemployment, ethnic make-up and large numbers of resident young people.”

The council has seen the number of betting shops drop since 2007 and uses the data to refuse new applications in areas of high risk.

Councillor Ian Adams, the cabinet member responsible for public protection and licensing, welcomed the betting cap on fixed-odds machines and said: “The £2 maximum bet is very welcome, but more is needed to address the risk of gambling to the most vulnerable in our society.

“We have mapped gambling harm on a street-by-street level and it is clear that there are areas of greater risk, poker indonesia and we are asking operators to understand and reduce the risk of harm locally. The most recent applications have been in these high-risk areas, and they were not approved on these grounds.”

He said the cut in the maximum stake for the fixed-odds machines could lead to betting shops creating adult gaming centres instead.

“These adult arcades can have a higher number of high stake casino-style gaming machines on the premises, which may become a larger problem than fixed-odds betting terminals,” he added.

“Our research also points to a growing risk with gambling at home where there may not be sufficient risk prevention.”

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