The Stop FOBTs action group is doing everything in their power to have England’s government reduce the maximum wager on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals all over the country.
The group announced the figure saying that gamblers lost over £3 million on FOBTs just over the last year. The mission of the Stop FOBTs group is to pinpoint and bring awareness to all of the dangers that Fixed Odds Betting Terminals bring to the table.
However, the group has not taken into account how much the lowering of the maximum allowed wager could hurt the industry and possibly the economy.
A Fixed Odds Betting Terminal is essentially a game of roulette that happens on a touchscreen machine. One can find them in betting shops all across the UK. Gamblers can play a multitude of games on these machines, and the current maximum wager is £100.
While allowing players to bet £100 on each spin can make for massive winnings; it can also set them up for a massive loss. However, every gambler knows they are taking that risk when playing on FOBTs.
Groups against the £100 maximum bet are asking the government to lower this bet to a mere £2 maximum. One of these groups is the Campaign for Fairer Gambling cohort. They are attempting to have the public rally behind them to drop the maximum stakes on the FOBTs that appear in most gambling shops on every high-street of the UK.
Just as the Stop FOBTs group found that £3 million was lost last year, they are also attempting to calculate how much was lost in each part of the country to give the public a more personal idea of how much gamblers are spending.
BACTA, or the British Amusement Catering Trade Association, are only asking the government to lower the stakes to £20. They have calculated numerous statistics to back up their idea that would most likely cause a lot less damage to the industry and to the economy than lowering the maximum bet to a measly £2.
So far, it is looking as if the government is in favor of dropping the maximum allowed wagers. Many members of Parliament that were against lowering the max bet limit have incidentally changed their minds. They are now in support of substantially lowering the maximum wagers allowed.
The government will continue to mull over these ideas, and hopefully have an answer for the UK soon. Gamblers and the gambling industry alike are nervous for the outcome and what it could mean for the industry and the economy.
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