Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals

14th November 2018

Iain Duncan Smith MP for Chingford & Woodford Green has led a group of MPs, working cross-party with Labour MPs like Carolyn Harris and Conservative colleagues to table an amendment to the Finance Bill, due to be debated in Parliament next week, to force the government to climbdown over the timing of the implementation of the new £2 maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs.)

Iain Duncan Smith has been campaigning on this issue since 2005 to lower the limit from £100 to a £2 limit. Working cross-party with Labour MPs Mr Duncan Smith said, “this is a serious issue beyond party lines, in 2016 alone nearly £18 million was lost on these machines and each machine turns a profit of around £1,000 per week.”

“I am extremely pleased to hear today that common sense has prevailed and that the government's proposed delay over the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) gambling reform will now not take place, and that the original timing of early April 2019 to limit stakes to £2, will now take effect.”

“Fixed odds betting terminals (#FOBTs) are known as the crack cocaine of gambling and currently let customers bet up to £100 every 20 seconds, these machines are addictive and cause real harm to families.”

“It has been shown that debt is one of the biggest causes of family breakdown. Problem gamblers neglect their close relationships, including with partners and children, and sometimes turn to crime to fund their habit. The decision in the first place to cut the minimum stake was an attempt to reduce the levels of debt that gambling addicts can get themselves into, particularly on these fast paced, high stakes slot machines.”

“There are 61 licensed betting shops in Waltham Forest, each with four slot machines. This is why a delay to reducing the stakes was absolutely not acceptable.”

Theresa May had earlier on today (Wednesday 14th November) been asked at Prime Minister’s Questions about the timing of the implementation.

Responding to Iain Duncan Smith, the Prime Minister said: "I know he [Duncan Smith] has campaigned on this issue with a passion as he says this question of the maximum stake on FOBTs is one which does have an impact on vulnerable people, their families and loved ones

"While I recognise the strength of feeling on this issue, I know gambling addiction can devastate lives, so our priority is to make sure this change delivers the results we want to see. We are listening to the concerns being raised by colleagues."

Iain Duncan Smith has been campaigning on this issue since 2005 to lower the limit from £100 to a £2 limit. Working cross-party with Labour MPs Mr Duncan Smith said, “this is a serious issue beyond party lines, in 2016 alone nearly £18 million was lost on these machines and each machine turns a profit of around £1,000 per week.”

 

“I am extremely pleased to hear today that common sense has prevailed and that the government's proposed delay over the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) gambling reform will now not take place, and that the original timing of early April 2019 to limit stakes to £2, will now take effect.”

 

“Fixed odds betting terminals (#FOBTs) are known as the crack cocaine of gambling and currently let customers bet up to £100 every 20 seconds, these machines are addictive and cause real harm to families.”

 

“It has been shown that debt is one of the biggest causes of family breakdown. Problem gamblers neglect their close relationships, including with partners and children, and sometimes turn to crime to fund their habit. The decision in the first place to cut the minimum stake was an attempt to reduce the levels of debt that gambling addicts can get themselves into, particularly on these fast paced, high stakes slot machines.”

 

“There are 61 licensed betting shops in Waltham Forest, each with four slot machines. This is why a delay to reducing the stakes was absolutely not acceptable.”

 

Theresa May had earlier on today (Wednesday 14th November) been asked at Prime Minister’s Questions about the timing of the implementation.

 

Responding to Iain Duncan Smith, the Prime Minister said: "I know he [Duncan Smith] has campaigned on this issue with a passion as he says this question of the maximum stake on FOBTs is one which does have an impact on vulnerable people, their families and loved ones

 

"While I recognise the strength of feeling on this issue, I know gambling addiction can devastate lives, so our priority is to make sure this change delivers the results we want to see. We are listening to the concerns being raised by colleagues."