Campaigning for £2 maximum FOBT stakes
£9,434,819 Lost In Tottenham as David Lammy MP Calls for Action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals
David Lammy MP has revealed the staggering amount lost on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in the Tottenham constituency as the Government consultation on the maximum stakes allowed on these machines, draw to a close.
David Lammy MP pledged his support to see the maximum stake reduced to £2 on these machines at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on FOBTs’ ‘Pledge for £2’ event in Parliament.
The highly addictive machines which have been dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ allow punters to stake £100 every 20 seconds on electronic versions of casino games such as roulette, but in a low supervision high street bookmaker environment.
New research shows that FOBT problem gamblers could be imposing a cost of £1.5 billion on themselves, their families and their wider social networks. The report published by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), found that those on lower incomes or in deprived areas are the main beneficiaries of a reduction to a £2 stake.
Supporters of the campaign which includes the General Synod of the Church of England, 93 local authorities, the Royal Society for Public Health and politicians from all parties, have called on the Government to take action on these machine in order to protect the most vulnerable in the society.
Lending his support to the campaign for a stake reduction, David Lammy MP said:
“The catastrophic effect that FOBTs are having on society cannot be understated. In Tottenham alone, almost £10 million was lost to FOBTs and the proliferation of dozens of bookmakers has been devastating for my community. I have been fighting against the pernicious impact of FOBTs for many years and action is well over-due.
Bookies on our local high streets are getting richer and richer from machines that destroy lives tear families apart and draw profit from the exploitation of vulnerable individuals. We must stand up to the gambling lobby and cut the stake on FOBTs to £2.
I would urge anyone affected by these machines to respond to the Government’s consultation by visiting the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s website. It is vital that we protect our communities and act on FOBTs now.”
The Government is seeking to reduce the stake on FOBTs from £100 to between £50 and £2, and has launched a 12 week public consultation on the stake options, which closes, midday on 23rd January.
The FOBT APPG is chaired by Carolyn Harris MP and is supported by groups including Bacta, The Hippodrome Casino, Novomatic, Praesepe and the Royal Society for Public Health.