Bookies brace for big hit as Government caps FOBT stakes at £2

Bookies brace for big hit as Government caps FOBT stakes at £2

Bookies brace for big hit as Government caps FOBT stakes at £2

The biggest wager for popular fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which allow gamblers to bet every 20 seconds, will be cut sharply from the current level of £100, the department for digital, culture, media and sport said in a statement. "Of course, there is more work to be done, but the Government has made the right decision".

The move by Westminster follows a lengthy consultation about the machines - branded the "crack cocaine of gambling" by critics.

The British government has today announced that it is restricting the maximum stake on a type of electronic gambling terminal to just £2.

Following analysis of consultation responses and advice from the Gambling Commission, the government said it believes a cut to £2 will best achieve this.

RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer said: "Fixed Odd Betting Machines have blighted communities and caused untold damage to the public's health, increasing the risk of debt, poor mental health, breakdown of personal relationships and suicide".

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In February previous year, the C of E's General Synod passed a resolution which began by recognition of "the destructive impact which accessible, high-stake machine gambling can have on families and whole communities and the widespread public concern about the very large amounts being wagered at fixed odds betting terminals located in high street betting shops".

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said that a high number of people seeking treatment for addiction say FOBTs are "their main form of gambling".

They warned that it could cost thousands of jobs and lose the Treasury £1.1billion over three years.

Now punters can place bets of up to £100 every 20 seconds on electronic casino games, which critics say is a spur to problem gambling. "We're going to work with the industry to make sure that that's implemented effectively".

Bookmaker William Hill said it will see a reduction in total gaming net revenue of 35%-45% following the move.

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The Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, today welcomed the Government's announcement.

As part of the wider review, the government has also announced a series of other measures it said will help to protect punters, with the Gambling Commission charged with bolster protections around iigaming, including stronger age verification rules and proposals to require operators to set limits on consumers spending until affordability checks have been conducted.

A major multi-million pound advertising campaign promoting responsible gambling, supported by industry and GambleAware, will be launched later this year.

"It is also welcome to see that Public Health England will be looking into gambling related harm which simply doesn't have the support it now needs".

- A review of age limits for National Lottery games at the time of the next licence competition.

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