Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Stakes limited to £2 at fixed-odds betting terminals announces Tracey Crouch

Stakes limited to £2 at fixed-odds betting terminals announces Tracey Crouch

Britain will slash the maximum stake on controversial gambling machines to £2 ($2.7, 2.3 euros) per spin, the government said Thursday, as it vowed "to protect the most vulnerable in society" from harmful losses.

Figures published by show that there are 57 FOBTs in 16 betting shops in Wrexham; with over £8m inserted into the machines locally in 2016.

Stakes of up to £100 could be placed in quick succession.

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock, who is also the secretary of state for digital culture and media and support, said fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) were a "social blight" and "prey on some of the most vulnerable in society".

But the machines are blamed for addiction, crime, debt, violence and family breakdown and their users are concentrated in some of the poorest communities.

"There's a reason why Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are known as the "crack cocaine" of gambling - with stories of addicts losing up to £16,000 in a day".

But bookmakers have warned it could lead to thousands of outlets closing.

A fixed odds betting terminal (FOBT) is a touch screen machine that allows players to bet on the outcome of various games such as roulette.

However, the move has prompted criticism from gambling companies, which have claimed the move puts thousands of jobs and hundreds of betting shops at risk.

However, the announcement was widely welcomed by charities, the church and opposition politicians.

"It is a pity they took quite this long to come to a decision, but each and every move is welcome if it means we do something to tackle the issue of problem gambling which causes difficulties and hardships for so many families".

The government also announced measures to tighten online betting protections and television advertising and raise awareness about potential harm, and will launch a probe into the public health impact of betting. Our focus now is to work with Government to build a constructive relationship that will ensure a positive future for the sector and the many millions of customers who enjoy our products responsibly.

To cover any hit to the public finances, the government said the change will be linked to an increase in remote gaming duty, paid by online gaming operators, at the relevant Budget.

Public Health England will carry out a review of the evidence relating to the public health harms of gambling.

A review of age limits for National Lottery games at the time of the next licence competition.

Changes to the stake will need to be brought through leglislation and will need to be approved by parliament.

Like this: