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General Synod demands government reduce top spend on betting machines
Betting machines that allow people to spend £100 a minute should be tighter regulated and the maximum spend slashed, the Church of England's ruling body has said.
General Synod decided unanimously to back a motion that calls on the government to impose a top stake of £2 a go.
It was a "matter of urgency" that ministers brought in new laws to regulate the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), the motion said.
Members heard how the terminals are causing "huge suffering" and addicts are losing hundreds of pounds in one sitting.
The motion was brought by London Diocesan Synod and also told of the "widespread public concern" at the lack of rules surrounding FOBTs.
London Diocese member Clive Scowen, said the games are ruining lives and were contributing to a "spiral" of poverty.
"We should call on the Government to act now in the public interest, applying the precautionary principle, rather than delaying while further evidence is gathered, to protect the poor and the vulnerable and those who can least afford to lose large sums in these machines," he said.
The government has already launched a review into FOBTs and is expected to publish a report and recommendations in the Spring.
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