UK Prime Minister announces inquiry into FOBTs
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said that her government will undertake an inquiry into fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
FOBTs have come under criticism in the UK, with campaigners unhappy that punters are able to wager up to £100 (€118/$132) a time on the machines.
The UK government has so far resisted calls to reduce the maximum stake to £2, although a Parliamentary inquiry into FOBTs was announced in June.
Prime Minister May has now followed up on this by confirming a wide-ranging inquiry into the machines.
Derek Webb, founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, which has been openly critical of FOBTs, praised the decision, saying that the organisation’s efforts will “soon be vindicated”.
“Our position has always been that the government must try to agree with the Newham Council proposal to reduce FOBT stakes under the Sustainable Communities Act,” Webb said.
“The government could be subject to a legal challenge if it does not do so; this enquiry buys time to enable that agreement to be forthcoming.
“The need for this FOBT enquiry is a direct result of the bookies’ state of denial and their attempts to falsely portray betting shops as the safest places to gamble.
“It is also a reflection on a weak regulator and the self-serving “responsible” gambling agenda that has been mistakenly subscribed to.
“The Campaign view is that under this government, it is a racing cert that this review is just the first move in further controls on gambling.”
Related article: Parliamentary inquiry into FOBTs to be launched