Talks held in Liverpool over gambling

Bosses from one of Britain's biggest bookies will head to Liverpool to discuss problem gambling.

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Talks held in Liverpool over 'problem gambling'

Fixed odds betting terminal (FOBT) Credit: PA

Bosses from one of Britain's biggest bookies will head to Liverpool to discuss problem gambling. William Hill own 73 of the 167 betting shops in the city.

Authorities raised concerns after it was revealed gamblers lost £41 million pounds there last year and want tighter control over the industry.

One of the main concerns are fixed odds betting terminals or FOBT's dubbed ‘the crack cocaine of gambling’ because players can feed up to £100 a minute into them. There are claims that poorer areas and vulnerable people are targeted. William Hill refute the claims.

A letter from William Hill head office to Liverpool councillors stated:

'We are writing following recent concerns raised over betting shops and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in Liverpool. We have 13 000 employees across the UK and we have been a part of the UK high street for the last 50 years.

'Gambling is far more accepted as a leisure activity than it was 50 years ago. Whether on the lottery or the Grand National, on Britain's Got Talent or on the name of the Duchess of Cambridge's baby, the majority of us like to gamble.

In fact, over 70% of the British adult population takes part in some form of gambling.

'In light of recent concerns around betting shops on the high street William Hill's Chief Executive Ralph Topping, head of the UK's largest bookmaker, has this week said that he recognises that people have concerns and recognises the need to listen to local communities.

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