FOBT Crackdown Set To Be Delayed Till April 2020
There are few topics in the UK gambling industry or in politics in general that attract more controversy and debate than that of the fixed odds betting terminals or what have been dubbed the “crack cocaine“ of gambling. We have reported on the attempts to crackdown on these machines in the past few years which recently came to a head with the pledge by ministers that the maximum stake on FOBTs will be drastically cut from £100 to £2.
All the opponents and campaigners against FOBTs were delighted but it seems celebrations were a little premature as it now appears that the crackdown will only come into play in April 2020. This has led to Philip Hammond being described as “morally reprehensible” and his decision as “indefensible”.
In addition the All-Party Parliamentary Group on FOBTs have launched an inquiry and have made demands that the new restrictions come into force next April. The Chairman of the group Labour MP Carolyn Harris said,” When the harm being caused by FOBTs to families and communities is taken into account, this proposal to delay implementation by two years is indefensible. It is now 600 days since the Government began consulting on this issue, and over £3billion has been lost, often by the most vulnerable in our society.”
FOBTs have been blamed for targeting the most vulnerable members of society who are facing increasing risks of gambling addiction. The Government have consistently reiterated their stance that they do not oppose a reduction in maximum stakes but there needs to be responsible engagement with the industry in order to ensure that these technological changes can be implemented.