This week 30 years ago: Fruit machines banned in Islington food joints following teenage gambling epidemic

Islington Gazette: November 13, 1987

Islington Gazette: November 13, 1987 - Credit: Archant

Islington councillors took action to prevent teenage gambling addicts pouring their pocket money into fruit machines.

The town hall was set to ban the gaming machines in chip shops and cafes across the borough.

It came after inspectors carried out checks on 18 establishments and found young gamblers in 13 of them. In one, 16 youngsters under 16 were feeding the machines without buying any food.

Cllr Howard Mann, chair of the envinronmental services committee, expected a “backlash” from business owners. Legal chiefs also warned the ban could be challenged in the High Court.

But Cllr Mann didn’t care. He said: “Time and again, kids are in kebab houses doing nothing but playing gaming machines all night long.”


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He was supported by Insp Laurie Dean, of King’s Cross police station, who said: “Schoolchildren are easily attracted to these machines and that means they spend a long time – and presumably – a large amount of cash on them.”

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