ABB reaction to the change in the timing of FOBT stake reduction
Betting shops will comply with the timing that the Government sets for the £2 stake implementation.
A £2 maximum stake is a de-facto ban on FOBTs that will result in up to 4,500 shop closures and 21,000 job losses.
Gaming machines in betting shops account for less than 10% of all gaming machines in the UK, yet have the highest responsible gambling measures out of any gaming machine in the UK. Customers can set their own time and spend limits and mandatory alerts occur after every 20 minutes played and play is tracked for markers of harm.
The Government’s own advice from the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board in relation to cutting stakes on gaming machines from £100 to £2 is, “we would find it difficult to regard so strong an action as being proportionate on the basis of the existing evidence. The 95 per cent of players who currently place stakes at higher levels might feel that their enjoyment had been significantly affected, particularly since playing roulette with a stake as low as £2 makes it difficult to spread the bet in any meaningful way. The way in which players (and operators) would react would be very difficult to forecast and could create a variety of unintended and potentially harmful consequences.”