Glasgow’s city councillors and local government officials are concerned about the growing number of payday lending firms positioned strategically near bookies. With easily accessible gambling options such as the 800 automatic betting terminals currently in use throughout UK high streets, councillors warn that the already staggering figure of £32m lost by Glaswegians every year will continue to increase.
Across Britain the self-service terminals alone rake in close to £1.5billion every year, more than football betting, dog racing and horse racing combined. In addition, the machines are fitted to receive bets of as much as £100 and bets can be placed every 20 seconds.
A recent report chaired by City Treasurer Paul Rooney suggests that there are a number of problems related to the terminals. The fixed odds machines are more often used by lower income individuals resulting in a myriad of problems including health worries, family issues and financial difficulties.
The report suggested tighter regulations and that more authority is given to Scottish Councils in a bid to keeping the payday lenders away from gambling sites. The report also stated the importance of a thorough re-examination of the automated betting machines and possible tighter regulations on the frequency and the amount of bets that can be placed on the terminals.