Members of the Stop Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) campaign are dissatisfied with the UK Government’s decision to allow roulette machine shops to retain a L100 maximum stake. The main goal of the campaign was to change UK gambling laws and force gambling shops to lower their maximum stakes to L2.
Despite having lost their first battle, the leaders of the campaign are determined to continue the war until betting laws are changed. “We’ll continue our efforts to see sensible restrictions on the high-speed, high stake gaming machines on Britain’s high streets”, said campaign leader Derek Webb.
Even though the number of online gambling sites in the UK has increased, FOBTs are thought to be the major cause of gambling problems. Labour MP Tom Watson, a supporter of the campaign, feels that the Government has “missed the opportunity to deal with the menace of FOBTs today” and added: “It’s just a shame that the number of problem gamblers will have to grow yet further before the government is forced to deal with a growing social problem”.
As high-stake betting shops became the centre of attention in the world of UK gambling news, Liverpool City Council was the first to make a stand against gambling machines. Back in November, the city supported the cause with a motion tabled by Councilor Nick Small and unanimously backed by the council.
High street betting shops are limited to a number of four gambling machines in each location, but still earn half their revenue from these machines, which allow gamblers to lose up to L100 every 20 seconds. Meanwhile, FOBT operators are trying to lure clients into their betting shops by raising their prizes. “Parliament has turned a blind eye to the transformation of Britain’s local bookmakers into High Street digital casinos”, claims MP Tom Watson.