MPs set to report on FOBTs early next year

MPs set to report on FOBTs early next year

Monday, June 6, 2016 Totally Gaming
The Parliamentary group has already called for a reduction in the maximum stake

A group of MPs that backs a £2 maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) is set to publish a report on the controversial machines early in 2017.

The FOBT All-Party Group, which was formed last month, will begin its ‘Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – Assessing the Impact’ inquiry into the vertical next month, and will issue its findings at the start of next year.

The group, which includes MP David Lammy, a prominent opponent of FOBTs, among its vice chairs, will take evidence from a range of stakeholders, including gambling addiction experts, machine users, regulators and executives from the gaming industry.

“I am delighted to announce this important inquiry," said the group's chair, MP Carolyn Harris. "The FOBT All Party Group, a genuinely cross party group, will seek to fully assess the impact of FOBTs on our society and economy. It is time for a proper look to be taken at the impact of these machines on all our communities.”

The group has already written to Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, outlining its concerns about FOBTs. In the letter the group asked for a reduction in bets on FOBTs to £2.

They wrote: “Colleagues in both Houses made clear our concern about their impact on the young and vulnerable. Many have reported the tragic impact FOBTs are having on their lives.

“These machines are highly dangerous products, acting as a catalyst for problem gambling, social breakdown and serious crime in communities. It is estimated that 7,000 FOBT machines are smashed and there are 10,000 policy call outs to bookmakers as a result of FOBT-related violence every year.”

TotallyGaming.com says: "With so much controversy surround FOBTs, further information should be welcomed. However, it must be hoped that the MPs will not begin their inquiry having already reached their conclusions."

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