Parliamentary inquiry into FOBTs to be launched
A Parliamentary inquiry into fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) is set to report on the controversial B2 machines early next year.
The FOBT All-Party Group will take evidence from a range of stakeholders, including gambling addiction experts and machine users, regulators, executives from the gaming industry and their representatives.
The inquiry gets under way in July and it is believed that the group will publish the findings of the ‘Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – Assessing the Impact’ inquiry early in 2017.
The group, which is chaired by MP Carolyn Harris and held its first meeting last month, has already written to Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, outlining its concerns about FOBTs. In the letter the group asked for a reduction in bets on FOBTs to £2.
They wrote: “Colleagues in both Houses made clear our concern about their impact on the young and vulnerable. Many have reported the tragic impact FOBTs are having on their lives.
“These machines are highly dangerous products, acting as a catalyst for problem gambling, social breakdown and serious crime in communities. It is estimated that 7,000 FOBT machines are smashed and there are 10,000 policy call outs to bookmakers as a result of FOBT-related violence every year.”
Related article: LGA reiterates calls for lower FOBT stakes in UK