UK Gambling Commission recommends £30 as max FOTB stake
March 19, 2018 9:25 AM
by Robert Mann
The UK's Gambling Commission has recommended the maximum stake for fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT’s) should be cut to £30 ($42.11 US) or less, British media report this morning (Monday). The £30 recommendation is far greater than the £2 limit gambling opponents had sought.
The commission recommendations have been sent to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport where lawmakers now have to decide whether to implement this and other commission recommendations.
Currently players can wager £100 ($140.37 US) every 20 seconds on electronic casino games, such as roulette and blackjack. The commission says the maximum stake on "slots games", like traditional fruit machine games, should be £2 ($2.81 US).
FOTB’s have come under attack for encouraging high-stakes gambling and exposing people to the risk of gambling addiction. Major UK gambling companies such as Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill, operators of thousands of gambling storefront operations in the UK, said limits that are too low would hurt their business and prompt industry-wide layoffs.
"This should be a relief for the sector as the worst-case scenario looks to have been avoided. Ministers will now have to justify a cut below £30 on grounds of significant risk of harm," said analyst Neil Wilson at ETX Capital.
The Association of British Bookmakers has claimed that a £30 maximum stake would see 2,100 betting shops closed and 10,000 jobs lost.