£30 fixed-odds betting terminals limit outrageous,…

Gambling commission recommends £30 stake limit for fixed-odds betting terminals

Players can now bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on these machines.

On Monday the commission recommended that the stake limit for FOBT non-slot games, such as roulette, should be set at £30 or less and the limit for FOBT slot machines should be set at £2.

"For some families, partners and children are being left destitute, so the social costs are huge".

In a letter to the Secretary of State, the Gambling Commission stated: "At the heart of our advice is an aim to reduce the risks that consumers, especially those that are vulnerable, face from gambling".

The UK Gambling Commission has given the UK Government its blessing to cut stakes on the "crack cocaine of gambling", fixed odds betting terminals, to £2.

"That is why we have recommended a stake cut plus a comprehensive package of other measures to protect consumers".

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'We have proposed actions that will tackle both the risk of harm and provide solutions that are sustainable in the longer term'.

The Government's advisory body on gambling has recommended the cut from the current maximum of £100.

"If the government adopts this drastic reduction in stake level to £2 and if the industry is correct it could lead to the closure of betting shops, loss of jobs and loss of tax revenues".

Shares in William Hill and Ladbrokes Coral rose by around four per cent following the announcement.

Wilson said: "This should be a relief for the sector as the worst-case scenario looks to have been avoided".

What has been the reaction from campaigners?

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"These machines are at the heart of the UK's hidden epidemic of problem gambling".

Fixed Odds Betting Terminal machines generated more than £1.8bn in tax revenue for the Treasury previous year.

Carolyn Harris, chairman of the FOBTs All Party Parliamentary Group, said: "The problem is that these machines are addictive".

Matt Zarb-Cousin, a former spokesman for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who now campaigns for fairer gambling rules, said the Government will make the final decision and urged people to "keep up the pressure".

"The Commission is an advisor to the government on gambling matters, so the government could justify the change to the £2 stake limit if it wanted to, based on the GC advice" Rees-Gay said.

Ministers must now decided whether to implement the recommendations, which also include additional restrictions on the way gambling machines can be played.

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Charity GambleAware said it welcomed the commission's "contributions to the ongoing discussion".

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