Number of FOBTs to double?


LBO bosses are asking the Culture Select Committee to double the number of FOBTs in betting shops.

Gala boss John O’Reilly (pictured) called the current limit of four machines “arbitary” and called for shops to be able to have as many as eight. Other bookmakers have also told the Committee that it supports a rise in the number of machines allowed.

Richard Glynn, the chief executive of Ladbrokes, said: ‘If the limit was increased to five or six, I am sure that would be a very fair outcome.’

As well as being a blow for the AWP sector, this is likely to be strongly resisted by groups that believe the machines – on which players can lose thousands of pounds an hour – encourage problem gambling.

The Salvation Army told MPs: ‘Machines are one of the most addictive forms of gambling and yet machine stakes and prizes were further liberalised under the Act.’

The Government’s Gambling Prevalence survey has so far found no conclusive link between the machines and gambling addiction.





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