Simon Read: Bookies must all adopt plan to ban cash machines

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The Independent Online

I've long been concerned about the growing ease of being able to gamble online. Just a quick flash of the plastic and you could soon be hundreds of pounds in debt.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to ban gambling. It offers an important bit of fun to millions. But it can also be disastrous for many. So I applaud any move to help stop people getting into serious financial trouble because of gambling.

So I'm pleased the Association of British Bookmakers is putting together a responsible gambling code which will include the measure that no ATMs should be located within betting shops operated by its members.

When do you need cash in a betting shop? When you've lost. But if losing gamblers are made to leave the bookies and head up the road to get some cash, it gives them time to reflect and not make a hasty decision to chase their losses.

The code should be extended to all bookies. Gambling is fine as long as it's responsible.

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