An announcement from the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has put paid to any potential government action against fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs). These terminals can be found across the country, and there had been suggestions they were the major contributor to gambling problems in the country.
As more and more gamblers flock to mobile casinos, FOBT operators will even be hoping that an increase in jackpots would bring players back to the machines. There are plans afoot to raise maximum stakes on casinos slots from GBP 2 to GBP 5, with the prize rising to GBP 10,000 from GBP 4,000.
Fruit machines will also see a raise in their top payout, up to GBP 100 from GBP 70.
This announcement came after a consultation submitted by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, who had presented evidence that the machines were in breach of UK gambling laws, as per the Gambling Act 2005.
The campaign’s founder, Derek Webb, commented on the government’s stance, calling it “ridiculous”: “It was a prime opportunity for the Government to exercise the precautionary principle and reduce the stakes on these addictive machines from L100 to L2, bringing them in line with all other British gaming machines.”
“There is mounting empirical and anecdotal evidence that FOBTs are driving the proliferation of betting shops, contributing to problem gambling, causing crime and violence in local communities, impacting on the working conditions of betting shop staff and being used for criminal activities such as money laundering.”
One piece of this gambling news was welcomed by the campaign, however, as gambling operators have been ordered to offer players the option to set minimum wagering stakes and loss limits at the start of play. Considering the current rise in mobile gambling, however, it remains to be seen how much effect this will have.