In an attempt to control anti-social behaviour, Britain’s LGA (Local Government Association) are seeking FOBT restrictions, hoping for a maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals
At present, punters can wager up to £100 on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, while the LGA and other groups seek to reduce this considerably. The LGA has made gambling news by suggesting that in casinos the limit should be £5, while on high-street outlets it should fall to £2. They also seek restriction on the number of betting shops located closely together.
The chair of LGA’s “Safer and Stronger Communities” group said, “Councils up and down the country are worried about the number of high stakes FOBTs and betting shops on our high streets, and are frustrated by the lack of powers they have to curb them.” He continued, “The higher stakes permitted on FOBTs is significantly out of line with other high street gambling machines and the harm and anti-social behaviour the cause has become an issue of growing national concern.”
FOBT restrictions urge to curb anti-social gambling
The UK’s last review into gambling machines took place in 2013, another should occur this year; the LGA urged an immediate review. Councils fear that high-stakes FOBTs cause problems in their communities, and are worried by their limited ability to stop them.
The chair continued: “Bringing stakes in line with other gaming machines in betting shops and elsewhere on high streets and casinos, would help to protect those at risk from problem gambling, and would be an important a step in the right direction. Councils are not anti-bookies but a new cumulative impact test would give them the power to veto new shops – and FOBTs – in areas already saturated by betting shops.”