The UK has been talking about gambling companies’ connections with the government, and how they are working to persuade Members of Parliament to support their fixed-odds betting terminals, but this seems to have now backfired on the industry.
Informed sources are confident that the government will be reducing the maximum allowed bet which is currently £100. Leading industry professionals are in disbelief that FOBT’s maximum stakes might experience a substantial decrease because the industry had a lot of support for a long time even though there is evidence that links the use of FOBT’s with social harm.
The main arguments bookies have made is that lowering the stakes may push problem gamblers to the end of the internet where they are unable to control themselves at all. They also mentioned that if the government tries to run their FOBT’s economically, it will cost thousands of employees their jobs because fixed-odds betting terminals are a huge portion of a bookie’s income. A large part of their revenue is also paid to the Treasury, so reducing their income will result in companies having to cut corners which mean losing employees.
However, these arguments from the industry have proven ineffective. While campaigners are hoping for an astronomical plummet in the maximum stake, this might not happen. These activists are asking the maximum bet to become £2. However, the government may be generous enough to allow £25 to be the new maximum.
Bookies already lost £1.8 billion this past year. If the government agrees to reduce the stakes, then the industry will take an even bigger hit over the next year or even the next few years.
Roulette is a trigger for all of this debating. Roulette is incredibly risky for the better, and it favors the house which means gamblers almost never win. Unlike sports betting where gamblers can use information and statistics to make an educated bet, roulette is completely by chance which means players are losing more and more money to this game as they continue to bet in hopes of winning, even though their chances are so incredibly slim.
The introduction of betting machines to high-streets brought attention to the issue. A fast paced, exciting version of Roulette on a FOBT is addicting; in fact, it is so addicting that it is now the “crack cocaine gambling.”
The government should be releasing their official statement anytime soon as campaigners, as well as industry professionals, sit on the edge of their chair awaiting a positive or negative new law, depending on which team you’re cheering for in this battle.