New UK law could see FOBT maximum bet at £2

Published by CasinoTopsOnline on January 24, 2018 in Industry News

UK Max Bet NewsThe gambling industry in the United Kingdom is a thriving one despite the regular shifts and changes in regulations.

Newly appointed UK Culture Secretary, Matt Hancock is said to be making a change to the maximum stake on fixed-odd betting terminals (or FOBTs) around the country.

Currently, players are able to bet as much as £100 per spin on the popular FOBTs, but many have been pressuring the government to change this law after the review of the gambling sector by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (or the DCMS).

Upcoming changes

A number of proposals were considered, including changing the betting limit to £50 or £2. While nothing has been confirmed, it's been said that the UK Culture Secretary is leaning towards the lesser £2 bet restriction.

It has been reported that Hancock feels negatively towards the FOBTs bets as they are taking money away from "reasonable, mature betting, like on the horses."

There has been much discussion and review of the possible new gambling law. The DCMS has stated: “The government is currently consulting on what the exact cut should be, and would make a final decision in due course once all the evidence has been considered”.

“We are clear that FOBT stakes will be cut to ensure we have a safe and sustainable industry where vulnerable people and children are protected,” continued the DCMS.

Gambling problems

While the change regarding FOBT bets may be a step in the right direction, there have been many wondering if it will do any good.

Jim Mullen, the chief executive at Ladbrokes Coral, commented on the possible changes with questions of whether or not it would "adequately address any issue of problem gambling."

In his statement, Mullen said: “We are very clear that stake cuts will fail to adequately address any issue of problem gambling; the industry has also always made it clear that a cut to stakes will have serious consequences - resulting in shop closures which will ultimately affect jobs, tax revenue and the funding of racing."

It's important to note that those who already have a gambling problem will not necessarily stop or change their habits due to a change in the maximum bet threshold.

“There is also no evidence that machine customers will switch their spend to sports betting such as horse racing, and our experience is that they won't; any policy made on this assumption would result in a significant reduction in the level of funding for horse racing," continued Mullen.

“We will continue to make the case for a sensible measured, evidence led and proportionate response to the public concern regarding these issues and this will be the basis of the evidence submitted as part of the ongoing review.”

As always, the shift should be towards protecting those in danger of falling into bad gambling habits. Whether this new law will make any difference or not, remains to be seen.