Fixed Odds Betting Terminals | November 2018

I have received numerous letters regarding fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT).
FOBTs are important to the economic viability of many betting shops, which currently employ around 53,000 nationally. However, we cannot ignore the evidence presented on the potential impact these machines can have on individuals and the wider community. It is estimated that in November 2017, there were 33,611 of these types of machines in the UK, yielding £1.8 billion between April 2016 and March 2017.
There has been a recent shift in attitudes within the betting industry, with a larger focus on social responsibility. Despite these efforts, Ministers are concerned that self-regulation has had only a limited impact.
Following a Government review into gaming machines launched in 2016, Ministers concluded that further action is needed if the balance between allowing people to bet responsibly and ensuring the protection of consumers and communities, is to be met. The Government believes that the weight of evidence suggests that action needs to be taken on FOBTs. Furthermore, the review found that areas containing a high density of machines tended to have greater levels of income deprivation.
Gaming machines where the maximum charge for a single play is greater than £10 is a devolved area in Wales, and is, therefore, the responsibility of the Welsh Government.
November 2018

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