Bookmakers welcome review of responsible gambling progress
Following the Government's announcement that it plans to launch a review of gaming machines and social responsibility requirements across the gambling industry, the Association of British Bookmakers issued the following statement:
We welcome an evidence based review of the gambling industry. This is a broad review of the industry and we will be submitting detailed evidence on the elements relevant to high street betting shops and our six million customers.
Since the last review in 2013, we have worked closely with the Government and Gambling Commission to introduce and develop a range of new responsible gambling measures in betting shops.
These include giving gaming machine players the ability to set a limit on the amount of money they spend or time they play for, no advertising of gaming machines, the first cross operator national self-exclusion scheme and the new £50 stake limits.
We look forward to setting out the progress made on the responsible gambling agenda which we are continually developing.
Betting shops have been trading on the high street and in town centres for 55 years, and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) have been played by our customers for the last 15 years – they are not a new product.
High street betting shops employ over 40,000 people and have six million customers.
The element of the review announced today relating to gaming machines is the regular review of the stakes and prizes offered on all gaming machines, in all venues, including betting shops, casinos and amusement arcades. The last review was held in 2013.
Betting shops, unlike other gambling outlets with gaming machines, do not sell alcohol, or open 24 hours a day and we don’t advertise our gaming machines.
Further, the total number of betting shops in the UK continues to decline. There are now fewer betting shops than at any time since 2003, with over 300 closing in the past two years and the number of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals has also fallen by 0.5% in the past year.
The average gross profit for bookmakers on gaming machines is equivalent to just £12 per hour, before any expenses and contribution to overhead, with an average loss on machines of just £6.75 and the average session lasting around 10 minutes. The average stake places on a machine is only £5.13.