The Daily Mail ran an article on the British gambling news saying that the UK coalition government is considering curbing the fixed-odds betting terminals at bookmakers’ shops.
The paper’s article featured the propositions of Don Foster, Liberal Democrats’ Communities Minister.
Fixed odds terminals, allowing players to bet on roulette, poker and blackjack, were introduced to the UK in 2002. The number of machines operating in the country has increased to 32,000 from 16,380 in 2007.
Foster stated that the Labour Party had allowed the machines to operate at such a large scale, but now they admit this was a mistake.
The politician informed: “MPs from all parties have been expressing concern. As a result of that protest, I am delighted that I can tell you that the Government has agreed at the most senior level that we are now going to conduct a review into the evidence for the need to look again at the levels of stakes and prizes and other issues related to these fixed odds betting terminals.”
The Daily Mail went as far as labeling betting shop terminals ‘crack cocaine’ of the high street, because the machines allow punters to wager GBP 100 a spin and as much as GBP 18,000 an hour. UK citizens have become so addicted, that a GBP 46 billion is expected to be staked alone this year. The politician proposes a strict GBP 2 maximum limit on stakes.
The politician also wants to force offshore British internet casino operators to apply for proper UK licenses. However, he didn’t go into the legal and technical details of the regulation.
Most online casinos are run on offshore locations, as their laws are much favorable than the British gambling laws. Foster also wants the government to revise the regulation of offshore gaming websites, blaming them for taking British money from gamblers.
Foster explained: “We intend to have some form of secondary licensing system where if you want to advertise and do business in this country then you have to have a UK imprimatur to ensure you are regulated here and are making a contribution to taxes here.”