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Darlington Borough Council won't act on high-stakes machines as more betting shops open in town
A COUNCIL has ruled out reducing the number of betting shops in a town, despite fears high-stakes machines are creating an increasing gambling culture.
Darlington Borough Council says it is not looking to take action against bookmakers who offer prizes up to £500 on casino-style fixed-odds betting machines.
The machines, which accept stakes of up to £100, were likened to an addictive drug by an MP during a House of Commons debate last week.
There are now eight bookmakers’ shops in Darlington town centre, after two firms moved into Skinnergate and Tubwell Row, but the authority said it has received no complaints about the machines.
A spokeswoman said: “Officers are aware that the fixed-odds betting terminals in betting shops can be highly addictive.
“However, as they are lawful our hands are tied, and we have not received any complaints about the number of betting shops in Darlington.”
The Government said it would take no action again bookmakers using high-stakes machines, but would assess the growing spread of betting shops in towns.