FOBT Maximum Stake Set to Be Reduced to £2


The United Kingdom government is said to be planning to reduce maximum stakes on high-stake fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2 which come as a huge blow to the gambling industry.

Reports from across the media spectrum are reporting that the UK government will recommend the restructuring of the current system which has the stakes set at maximum £100.

Following the three months of consultation, the MP Matthew Hancock, the recently-named new secretary of the Department for Culture, is leading the line with the campaigners of this new measure which is set to slash the FOBT maximum stakes to the very bottom of the range.

The campaigners will urge the government to make a firm stance on FOBTs which are said to be the highly addictive form of gambling with 233,000 users losing more than £1,000 in one sitting in 2016. They claim that FOBTs are targeting gambling addicts and, as such, only worsen their problem. Such accusations have been denied by the betting industry, quite expectedly, knowing that fixed-odds betting terminals are a vital source of revenue for many a bookmaker in the country.

Matthew Hancock inherited the office from Karen Bradley, who became Northern Ireland secretary, and is said to be keen to continue the same path following the consultation ordered in October 2017 which, on the other end, could have huge repercussions.

Some bookmakers are voicing their concern that a £2 maximum stake could force shops to close and push up to 21,000 out of fork. A statement issued by the Association of British Bookmaker reads that betting shops across the country are investing significant sums of money in new technology in order to help identify risk groups and make sure they get help that they need.

On the other end, campaigners are pushing for the nee restrictions to be implemented, claiming that the government has stated its commitment to social justice.

Fixed-odds betting terminals currently allow gamblers to place bets up to £100 every 20 seconds and are considered a huge danger to potential risk group of gamblers and the suggested measures are expected to limit the stakes to somewhere between £50 and £2.

And even though the official decision has yet to be made, the Financial Times reports that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the £2 bar is highly likely. The government wants to make sure a safe and sustainable industry is achieved and vulnerable people and children are protected with their new propositions.

Hand in hand with the government attempting to limit the FOBTs, the UK land-based casinos are urging on the legislators to allow them to install more electronic gaming machines. A disproportion is being mentioned in relation to bookmakers catering the vulnerable groups with up to £100 per spin whereas the establishments welcoming mainly high-rolling players, such as the Hippodrome, are only allowed four slot machines with maximum stakes set at £5.

Crown Aspinalls and Crockfords joined the Hippodrome in pleads asking the government to consider relaxing restrictions for high-value customers. 

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