The ABB hits back at ResPublica and The Campaign for Fairer Gambling

The ABB hits back at ResPublica and The Campaign for Fairer Gambling

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Posted by Joseph Streeter
The report urged the government to slash the maximum stakes of fixed-odds-betting-terminals (FOBTs) to £2.

The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) has responded to a report from independent think tank ResPublica and The Campaign for Fairer Gambling, which urged the government to slash the maximum stakes of fixed-odds-betting-terminals (FOBTs) to £2.

The report, comes in anticipation of the incoming triennial review of gaming machines stakes and prizes from The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which is expected to lead to the government dramatically cutting the current £100 maximum FOBT stakes.

Arguing for ‘better regulation not more regulation’ it stated that: “Better regulation does not mean radical change, but rather the targeted, efficient reform of those regulatory elements that have been proven to fail.”

It goes onto say that although: “Casinos generate significant employment opportunities and support a range of complementary economic activity such as hotels and restaurants, the presence of casino-style machines has hastened the decline of high streets.”

The integral evidence in the report were case studies from both Newham and Liverpool, the studies estimated that in Liverpool between 2008 and 2016, £124.3m was lost on FOBTs and  £37.3m was lost in cumulative tax losses from FOBT expenditure through the same period.

In Newham on the other hand, the report estimated that £134.6m was lost on FOBTs and 2,180 jobs were lost in the borough from FOBT expenditure. However, The ABB has responded, stating that the report used ‘dodgy stats and flawed research’.

As spokesperson from The ABB told TotallyGaming.com: “It comes as no surprise that a report commissioned by the Campaign For Fairer Gambling using dodgy stats and flawed research supports their unfounded attacks on bookies.

“The Campaign for Fairer Gambling have called for a relaxation in the law limiting the number of casinos in the UK and for tax cuts to support casinos.”

Totally Gaming says: Research into safer gambling is of the highestest importance, however, it's only right that the impartiality and credentials of the research and those conduting it should also be scrutinised. Although the study in question provides interesting case studies in both Newham and Liverpool, The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has been criticised in the past for the quality of the data that it disseminates to the media. The increasingly fractious level of debate is unlikley to end with the Government's review in stakes and prizes (among other things) which is expected next week. 

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