In alignment with their focus on keeping problem gambling at bay, the UK government has recently announced a plan to review the fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) found at UK sports betting providers under the concern that they cause harm to “vulnerable” gamblers.
The review will be conducted by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Conservative Sport, Tourism and Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch announced, and it will also include the review of gambling advertising policies the DCMS previously announced as well as a close look at the access of under-aged persons to gambling machines. The announcement was met with approval from both the Conservative and Labor party who consider it well past due.
The key concern for the DCMS is whether the current maximum stake of £100 should be considered acceptable, especially since FOBT machines are very fast paced. The DCMS will also review whether the prizes offered by FOBT machines are valuable as well as if there are any needs to change the 4 machine limit currently imposed on UK betting providers.
For this purpose, the DCMS has asked all interested parties to supply evidence or opinions regarding the key concerns by no later than December 4th. Once all submissions are collected, a review process will be used to decide what would be the appropriate response.
The call was met with positive remarks from the UK Gambling Commission, whose new CEO Susan Harrison called the idea a great chance for any interested parties to make sure their concerns are heard. She also added that the UKGC would be submitting their own suggestion to the government, as per their “statutory duties”, which will be publically revealed after the submission.
The review process was also greeted by Malcolm George, CEO of the British Bookmaker Association, who said an “evidence-based” review process was welcome.