Today I welcomed the announcement that the maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) will be reduced to £2 from £100.
These machines have been labelled the “crack cocaine of gambling” where £100 can be gambled every second causing significant harm to players and the wider community. It is also worth noting the proliferation of these machines in areas with greater levels of income deprivation.
Across North Ayrshire & Arran £4,843,791 was lost in 2016 alone.
The assertions from the bookmaking industry about job losses due to this measure deflects from the real threat to jobs in bookmakers – the deployment of self-service betting terminals, leading to staff reductions.
Action to tackle online gambling, including stronger age verification rules and proposals to require operators to set limits on consumers’ spending until affordability checks have been carried out must now follow.
Please click below to hear my response to today’s announcement: