THE power to ban fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) completely should be given to local authorities, according the Glasgow’s council leader.

The Gambling Commission has recommended that stakes on the machines described as the “crack cocaine of gambling”, be reduced from £100 maximum to between £2 and £30.

Susan Aitken said: “There is cross-party agreement that we did want to have more powers here to take action. It has been very limited so far.

“I would include the ability of local authorities to simply say no to these machines.”

She said there was strong anecdotal evidence of a link between use of FOBTs and high cost short term loans.

Ms Aitken added: “The council has been calling on government to reduce stakes since April 2014. My opinion is the Gambling Commission advice is the minimum that should be done. It should be driven down even further.

“I urge the UK government to take on board evidence from Glasgow.”

Clydebank Central councillor John Mooney agreed with the aspiration. He told the Post: “I would agree that local authorities are the appropriate bodies to regulate these machines.“It is disappointing that the Gambling Commission, which is a UK government body, thinks that a £30 maximum stake makes sense in a deprived area.

“Our licensing board recommended a £2 maximum stake. If this is how it is going to be, and we are not going to have the power to regulate these machines effectively, then we should have the power to ban them altogether.”