Greens “deeply disappointed” by betting machines recommendation

19 March 2018

The Green Party in Norwich has said it is “deeply disappointed” that the UK’s Gambling Commission has recommended a £30 maximum stake for fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs). The Greens argue that £30 is still far too high and have backed widespread calls for a £2 cap.

Currently people can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on electronic casino games like roulette and blackjack in places where these machines operate, such as in high street bookmakers.[1]

The controversial FOBT machines have been described by some as “the crack cocaine of gambling” and there has been a long running review regarding the maximum stakes. [2]

Cllr Martin Schmierer, who leads the Green Party on Norwich City Council, said:

“I am deeply disappointed that the Gambling Commission’s recommendations do not go further. All the evidence suggests that these machines should be limited to £2 per spin to mitigate some of the most harmful effects of problem gambling.”

This sentiment echoes the views of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who have said that the current regulation is “inappropriate” and that drastic reductions to the maximum stake would help reduce “the potentially harmful impact on the player and their wider communities”. [3]

Cllr Schmierer continued:

“The part of Norwich which I represent is sadly one of high deprivation. It also has one of the highest concentrations of bookmakers in Norfolk with somewhere in the region of 10 betting shops and 2 adult gaming centres. I believe that taking action on FOBTs nationally by massively limiting the maximum stake a person can wager can only be beneficial to Norwich and its residents.”

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