Betting shops across Britain and Wales will use a new alerting system to warn players when they have spent too much on FOBTs.
It’s been over a year since the Campaign for Fairer Gambling has launched its crusade against fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), asking the Government to change current British gambling laws to limit their numbers and reduce the maximum stake from GBP 100 to GBP 2.
Despite all the promises made by politicians, the “Stop the FOBTs” campaign reached a dead end in January, when the Government coalition refused to take action and said it would first wait for an industry study to be published later this autumn, before deciding what to do.
Curiously, the first initiative to help fight gambling addiction has come from the “enemy”. The Association of British Bookmakers has just developed a new code of conduct, allowing gamblers to set limits on the amount of time and money they spend playing FOBTs.
New alert system to be implemented this year
Betting shop employees will receive special training to identify problem gamblers. They will be instructed to offer advice and support for their clients.
Further details about the new code have been revealed in local gambling news, including the fact that the staff will be alerted when limits have been reached. In addition, the machines will display mandatory alerts after 30 minutes or when customers have spent GBP 250. The alert will also trigger a 30-second break in play.
It is estimated that 33,000 gambling machines across England and Wales will be using the new alerting system, in about six months.