Government to curb FOBTs?


According to today’s Daily Mail, the UK’s coalition government is to look at curbing fixed-odds betting terminals in bookmakers’ shops.

This is in response to a campaign by the Liberal Democrats’ Communities Minister, Don Foster, who seeks a £2 (€2.5) limit on stakes.

The Daily Mail, historically a fierce opponent to all forms of high street gambling in the UK, quotes on today’s front page that betting shop gaming terminals are the “crack cocaine” of gambling and reports that players may wager £100 per game and as much as £18,000 an hour.

It states that Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy, Nick Clegg, have agreed to look at reversing the more liberal attitude towards gambling in the UK taken by the previous Labour administration.

It also insists that betting websites will have to apply for UK licences – a philosophy which may be difficult to materialise.

There are now 32,000 betting terminals in the UK, doubling the number from five years ago and, says the Daily Mail, £46bn is expected to be staked in the machines in 2012 – a statistic likely to be challenged by the industry.

A House of Commons committee recently called for further relaxations in the country’s gambling laws, but the newspaper reports that the Prime Minister and his deputy will reject this approach. A review of stakes, restrictions in the number of machines and their prize levels will follow together with greater powers for local authorities to keep a lid on the sector.

It reports Foster as saying: “For too long this problem has been swept under the carpet. There is no doubt that this is ruining people’s lives. Fixed odds betting terminals have incredibly high stakes and prizes. People chase their losses.”

by David Snook

Comments (2)

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Hi Steph
All we want is a level playing field with the bookies
Either they come down to us(which is looking likely )
Or we go up to them( unlikely )
We will have to wait and see

Michael Webber
26/09/2012, 18:28

I agree Michael – it might be best for everyone if they come down to us. Nobody wants to be making an investment in new machines, only to find that they make a U turn further down the line…
Thanks for your comment – Steph

Coin-Op Community
26/09/2012, 20:34

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