UK Government Decline Councils’ AttemptsTo Restrict FOBTs
The outcry over the damage fixed odds betting terminals are causing in the UK has been the subject of many articles by our team. Whether it be the Church, local councils and of course politicians, the “crack cocaine” of gambling or FOBTs continue to be in the headlines.
Efforts to reduce the maximum bet of £100 are just one of many measures proposed to limit the social damage these high speed gambling machines can cause. There are over 35,000 FOBTs across the UK and this has led to a group of 93 councils last year joining forces in attempt to have the maximum stake per spin reduced from £100 to £2.
On Thursday these efforts were dealt a blow as the UK government rejected the bid with the explanation that measures were already in place to further enforce gambling controls and protect players. As of April players wanting to play with more than £50 per spin were now forced to call a staff member of the betting shops as they no longer could feed the money directly into the machines. Additional powers were also granted to local councils to give them more say as to the addition of further FOBTs in their jurisdiction.
Needless to say the reaction of local councils led by Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales was quick to come. They dubbed the government’s response an insult and vowed to challenge the decision.