£2 maximum stake limit on UK FOBTs takes effect
On Monday, all 32,000 Fixed Odds Betting Terminals across the UK will have their stakes slashed from 100 GBP to 2 GBP, after a review by DCMS last year found that the machines caused problems for punters who in some cases ended up getting into serious debt through addictive gambling.
FOBTs, which saw punters lose up to 300 GBP per minute or 18,000 GBP an hour, are poised to become a loss making pursuit for the betting industry after many leading firms last year declared they would have to cut jobs and possibly close stores due to the Government’s clampdown.
What campaigners fear though, is a rise in online betting – an area of the industry which they feel is still under regulated and potentially dangerous, especially for young people.
Grainne Hurst, GVC’s Director of Responsible Gambling, today said: “We are leading the way on safer gambling and were the first operator to call for the restrictions on TV advertising around live sports, as well as the extension of the 2 GBP stake on FOBTs in Northern Ireland from 1 April 2019. We are pleased to see the industry has followed our lead on these important issues. In addition, we are the only operator that has committed to doubling our donations to research, education and treatment for problem gambling. Safer gambling is a non-negotiable part of the way we do business and we are proud to have launched our Changing for the Bettor strategy which will increase the research, education and treatment of problem gambling, in partnership with organisations like SOGG.”