Review of FOBTs

I welcomed the written statement from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Culture, Media and Sport that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has published a terms of reference and a call for evidence for a review of gaming machines and social responsibility requirements across the gambling industry.

The review will include a close look at the issue of B2 gaming machines (more commonly known as Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – FOBTs) and specific concerns about the harm they cause, be that to the player or the communities in which they are located.

I have continued to campaign for further action to be taken on gambling related harm.  He 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.

I’m pleased to learn that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport are to undertake a long awaited review of FOBTs. 

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.

The Minister is on record, in a letter to me, indicating her long-standing interest in the area and her reservations about FOBTs.  Therefore, I hope this review will be the start of a crack-down on the proliferation of FOBTs on our high streets.