In a breaking story on The Guardian, as it pertains to the UK casino industry and European casinos online, it was reported that the Gambling Commission failed to take action on a plan to reduce gambling limits. The proposed plan called for the minimum bet at fixed-odds betting terminals to two pounds.
Why Will The UK Casino Gambling Limits Remain The Same?
In a direct quote from this article, “The Gambling Commission’s recommendation will be one of the most influential submissions to a review by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which has said it would cut the maximum bet on FOBT’s from 100 pounds to a range between two pounds and 50 pounds.”
The UK’s Most Popular Game Roulette Cut To 30 Pounds Or Less?
The commission went on to recommend that stakes for the UK’s most popular FOBT game roulette should be cut to 30 pounds or less. It also suggested that the lowest limit for real money slots games be reduced to two pounds.
Tom Watson is the United Kingdom Labour Party’s deputy leader, and he was quoted as saying, “This is a deeply disappointing report from the Gambling Commission, which appears to have caved in to industry pressure. Ministers must not use this report as a cover to maintain the status quo.” As a well-known opponent of FOBT’s, Watson added, “These machines are the heart of the UK’s hidden epidemic of problem gambling. The government must cut the stake to two pounds on all FOBT machines, including the highly addictive roulette-style games.”
Also mentioned in the Guardian’s report, the Labour MP Carolyn Harris was quoted as saying, “It is disappointing. However, I am confident that the government will see past this and do the right thing, as the moral argument has been made so overwhelmingly for two pounds.” Her role is the Chair of an all-party parliamentary group tasked with investigating FOBT’s.
High Street Bookmakers
On the other side of this issue is the high street bookmakers, who garner nearly have of their annual revenue from FOBT’s. They continue to argue that a cut to two pounds who lead to lost jobs and shops closing their doors. The shares of William Hill were up four percent following the commission’s recommendations, and Ladbrokes Coral shares gained three percent according to The Guardian.
UK Gambling Commission Will Monitor Online Betting Action?
One of the other measures that the Gambling Commission did recommend was the concept of “tracked play.” Also, this involves the use of tracking devices to monitor player activity and their overall betting activity.
Protection From The Risk Of Gambling Related Activities?
The commission’s chief executive is Neil McArthur, and he was quoted as saying, “Protecting consumers and tackling the risk of gambling-related harm is always at the heart of our work and the advice we have published today is no exception. In our judgment, a stake cut for fixed-odds betting terminals alone doesn’t go far enough to protect vulnerable people. That is why we have recommended a stake cut plus a comprehensive package of other measures to protect consumers.”
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The Association of British Bookmakers Speaks Out?
The final quote in the Guardian report was from The Association of British Bookmakers. It went on to state, “We remain committed to introducing further measures to address problem gambling and will continue to work with all interested parties.”