Scotland Politicians Join The Anti FOBT Brigade
The leader of the Scottish Labour Party Kim Murphy has added his voice to the growing calls to reduce the maximum stakes of fixed odds betting terminals which currently offer punters the chance to stake up to £100 every 20 seconds.
Latest figures coming from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFG) paint a worrying picture of the impact of FOBTs on Scotland. According to them over £3.4 billion was wagered in 2014 among 170,000 punters. Over 37,000 of these lost £63 million making it an average of £1683.
Spokesman for the CFG, Adrian Parkinson said, “We are still seeing growth in FOBT revenue with £158 million snatched out of local Scottish economies last year. But it is how sustained the losses are year on year that mask what is happening among users of FOBTs. Since 2008, over £8 billion has been lost on FOBTs, with Scotland contributing about £800 million of those losses.”
Parkinson went on to point out the addictive nature of the FOBTs which generate new waves of players each year of whom many lose everything they own. Leader of Scottish Labour Party Murphy made it clear how he felt about reducing the maximum stakes, ““I want to see a change in the maximum stake. People betting a couple of pounds a time would be a lot more sensible, rather than blowing all they have in a gambling spree lasting a few minutes.”
On the other side of the debate the Association of British Bookmakers countered the claims by saying that they have already implemented responsible gambling messages on the machines as well as continue to work closely with the government and Gambling Commission to implement responsible measures.