I welcome the positive feedback I have received from the Department of Culture to his letter on FOBTs.
I wrote to the recently appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Karen Bradley MP, to ask what action her department will be taking to address the issue of FOBTs and gambling related harm. In the response letter from the Minister for Culture, Tracey Crouch MP said, “I would like to reassure you that I have a long-standing interest in this area and that I am on record expressing my reservations about FOBTs and stake size.”
I continue to campaign for further action to be taken on gambling related harm. I previously proposed that funds from dormant betting accounts should be used to support individuals and families whose lives have been affected by gambling related harm.
The evidence shows that these machines are directly linked to problem gambling with 4 out of 5 FOBT gamblers exhibiting problem gambling behaviour at stakes in excess of £13 a spin compared to 1 in 5 at stakes £2 and under.
Therefore, I welcome the positive feedback I have received from the Department of Culture regarding FOBTs and reducing the maximum stake size. This approach appears to differ drastically from the previous Tory led UK Government who dithered and dragged their heels on taking the necessary action to address gambling related harm.
There may be the possibility that the UK Government is going to come to its senses and take the action required on FOBTs.