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New Restrictions for UK Bookies on FOBTs...

New Restrictions for UK Bookies on FOBTs

Published on October 31, 2017

The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced today the options to reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to between £2 and £50 to protect vulnerable gamblers.

Currently, high-speed electronic casino games called ‘crack cocaine’ machines, allow punters to place bets of £100 every 20 seconds.

Gambling Minister, Tracey Crouch, said in the introduction to the review: “This consultation brings forward a package of proposals which responds to strong evidence and public concerns about the risks of high stakes gambling on the high street, with the aim of enhancing player protections on gambling machines that enable high rates of loss in short periods of time.”

“We are consulting on regulatory changes to the maximum stake, looking at options between £50 and £2, in order to reduce the potential for large session losses and therefore to the potentially harmful impact on the player and their wider communities,”

“It is vital that we strike the right balance between socially responsible growth and protecting the most vulnerable, including children, from gambling-related harm. We have seen online gambling grow rapidly and we need to protect players in this space, while also making sure those experiencing harm relating to gambling receive the help they need.”

“Given the strong evidence and public concerns about the risks of high stakes gaming machines on the high street, we are convinced of the need for action. That is why today we have set out a package of proposals to ensure all consumers and wider communities are protected,”

As part of the government review:

  • The Gambling Commission – the industry’s regulator – will consult on changes to protect online players.
  • Broadcasters, advertisers, industry and support groups will draw up an advertising campaign to promote responsible gambling, with an annual budget of up to £7m.
  • New advertising guidelines will be drawn up, to protect problem gamblers, children and young people.
  • Access by under-18s to gambling content and channels on social media will be restricted.
  • Gambling companies are being told to step up funding for research, education and treatment. If they don’t, operators may face a levy.
  • Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, described the review as “deeply disappointing”.

    A consultation period of 12 weeks will follow to determine the decision.