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Maximum FOBTS Stake Reduced
SNP MSP Stuart McMillan and SNP MP Ronnie Cowan have welcomed the news that the maximum stake for fixed odd betting terminals (FOBTs) will be capped at £2 after a long-running SNP campaign on the issue.
Up until today, the UK has been the only developed country that allowed gamblers to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on the highly-addictive electronic casino games, according to a Respublica report.
Research from Landman Economics has shown that the average FOBT user loses £192 a month, with the average user of machines already capped at £2 a spin losing just £22 in comparison.
SNP MSP Stuart McMillan commented:
“I am glad the Tory Government has finally come to its senses and introduced a more responsible maximum stake of £2 on FOBTs, but this change has taken too long.
“We should never let the gambling industry dictate government policy for electronic gambling machines.
“FOBTs like roulette are linked to gambling addiction, debt and family breakdowns, and they have taken advantage of vulnerable people for too long.
“The next step is ensuring the industry takes greater social responsibility regarding reports that there are more FOBTs in poorer areas. My campaign doesn’t end here.”
Ronnie Cowan MP and vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on FOBTs said:
“As vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on FOBTs I welcome the decision by the UK Government to introduce a maximum unit stake on FOBTs at £2.
“It’s a step in the right direction to address gambling related harm and to begin to mitigate the number of problem gamblers in the country.
“Having heard numerous testimonies and stories from individuals, whose lives have been ruined by these machines, it was clear that drastic action must be taken.
“But it’s imperative that we go further, such as tackling the link between young people and gambling, the prevalence of online gambling and whether it’s time to introduce a compulsory levy for the bookmakers to fund GambleAware and tackling gambling related harm.
“The welfare of the individuals and their families should come before bookmaker profits and the industry must behave responsibly in advertising and promotion."
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