Pressure Is on UK Chancellor to Act on FOBT Maximum Stake Reduction

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( — October 18, 2018) — A group made of 30 Members of the UK Parliament has formally urged the Chancellor to keep the UK Government’s promises of rolling out the planned £2 stake on FOBTs (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals). If this will not happen, the group will look to see an amendment to the Finance Bill.

The cross-party members have sent a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to support the immediate implementation of the £2 maximum stake for FOBTs.

As reported by casino bonus aggregator site and also from Twitter, the group has cited a report of the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) that the delay has already costed the UK Treasury around £132 million on an annual basis.

The group cited a recent report of the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) that the amount lost by the UK Treasury as a result of the move’s delay will be in the range from £98 million to £132 million on an annual basis.

The concern is that at the moment no significant actions have been taken to implement the new rules that should affect those gambling machines. In May 2018 the UK Government publicly announced the decision to reduce the FOBT maximum stake from £100 to £2 to protect vulnerable people and also resolve other issues like money-laundering that have been associated with the controversial machines. Since then nothing has happened, and anti-gambling campaigners are getting concerned about this delay.

Latest figures show that around 1.4% of all UK gamblers are addicted, and 11.5% of regular FOBT customers have problems with gambling addiction.

This is why charity Gambling with Lives has flagged that the delay in implementing the new FOBT rules has caused that tens of thousands of young people became addicted to gambling: this might result in around 500 more suicides to be committed due to this problem. The charity has also highlighted that the Chancellor would be ‘morally bankrupt’ if he will maintain the side of the gambling industry and continue them to make a significant profit on the back of vulnerable people especially young. From their estimate, £3.6 billion has been lost already since the UK Government started to look into cutting the maximum stake of FOBTs.

The pressure on Members of the Parliament to take action has continued to increase with families of those who have taken their lives due to gambling addictions that are asking for answers. This is also why these members of parliament have decided to write to the Chancellor asking for urgent measures to be taken so to avoid further delays.

Anti-gambling campaigners are refusing that the reduction of FOBT might be postponed until April 2020 as this would mean that the gambling industry will continue to profit from those machines that have a very high number of gambling addicted using them.

UK Gambling operators, on the other hand, have already expressed concerns about the costs that the increase compliance measures are having on their businesses. This might be only the start in case a Labour government will take power. ‘The cost of doing business in gambling in the UK is going through the roof’ said Clive Hawkswood chief executive of Remote Gambling Association (RGA).