Anger Over Proposed Limits Set To Be Placed On FOBTs
The much talked about crackdown on fixed odds betting terminals is still a major political hot potato. One of the main proposals to curb what is dubbed as the “crack cocaine” of the gambling world is to limit the maximum stakes from £100 to £2.
In the last few months much speculation has been doing the rounds as to the exact reduction the government will enforce. It is now emerged that the government is considering limiting the bets between £2 and £50 which has got critics up in arms. Outspoken critics like the Bishop of St Albans Rev Alan Smith is adamant that any reduction above £2 will not address the harmful effects the FOBTs are having on vulnerable communities.
He said,” In our broader response to the consultation, the Church of England will urge the Government to consider the experiences of those affected most by these machines, and to choose to lower the stake to £2. At present, FOBTs are the only betting machines on the high street which take a stake of more than £2. The £100 stake has been a disastrous anomaly. I urge the Government not to replace one harmful anomaly with another at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable.”
Other outspoken politicians like Labour’s shadow culture secretary Tom Watson criticized the delays and endless consultations on the matter. He went ton to urge the government to address all gambling relates dangers and warned that Britain is suffering from a gambling addiction epidemic. He was quoted as saying,” The £100 stake has been a disastrous anomaly. I urge the Government not to replace one harmful anomaly with another at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable.”
The government has also asked for information on the effects of FOBTs from the Gambling Commission as well as proposed measures on how to track and monitor players.