PRESS RELEASE: City MP: “a giant step forward” to clamping down on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals
Gloucester’s MP Richard Graham said today’s announcement on a consultation on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, including an option to cut the maximum stake from £100 to £2, is “a giant step forward to reducing the risks to gamblers and their families, and a success for those of us who campaigned on the issue”.
The Sports Minister has launched a 12 week consultation on options to reduce the maximum stake from £100 to between £50 and £2. A package of measures will also be introduced to strengthen protections around online gambling and gambling advertising to minimise the risk to vulnerable people and children.
Richard Graham said, “I was influenced by the experience of my constituent Hussain Vorajee who became a gambling addict on FOBTs. It almost destroyed his life, and while of course everyone must take personal responsibility the government can help by reducing the maximum stake and protecting the vulnerable.
There are others who will have lost a lot of money and damaged the stability of their family lives who haven’t come forward – and I encourage all my constituents to help them too by supporting the £2 option in the consultation (as I will be doing). The more of us who support this the more likely it is that we’ll get the right result. So please click on https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures.”
Gambling Minister Tracey Crouch said: “It is vital that we strike the right balance between socially responsible growth and protecting the most vulnerable, including children, from gambling-related harm. Given the strong evidence and public concerns about the risks of high stakes gaming machines on the high street, we are convinced of the need for action. That is why today we have set out a package of proposals to ensure all consumers and wider communities are protected.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
The package of measures taking effect include:
- The Gambling Commission will consult on changes to the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice next year to raise standards of player protection for online gambling.
- Gambling industry groups will draw up a major two year responsible gambling campaign. The campaign will have a budget of £5 to £7 million per year funded by gambling operators, with airspace and digital media provided by broadcasters.
- New advertising guidelines will be drawn up by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) to ensure that the content of gambling adverts does not encourage impulsive or socially irresponsible gambling.
- The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) are strengthening the code on responsible gambling advertising to require operators to ensure gambling content and channels cannot be accessed by under-18s via social media
- Gambling operators should step up on funding for research, education and treatment. If not, government will consider other options, including introducing a mandatory levy on gambling operators.