High losses on FOBTs continue at low stakes

Analysis shows only a £2 stake can eliminate harmful high-loss sessions London, high-loss sessions on Fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) remain prevalent at low staking levels, and are only practically eradicated with stakes at or below £2, new analysis shows.


In response to the Gambling Commission’s advice to Government that the stake on FOBTs should be ‘below £30’, bacta has explored the link between high loss sessions and lower average stakes.

Based on the Gambling Commission’s session loss data for 2015/6, it has found (relating to B2 only machines):

  • When average stakes were below £30, there were still 136,561 sessions in which a consumer lost over £500
  • This means over 17% of all high-loss sessions (>£500) were with average stakes at or below £30
  • High-losses continue well below the £30 level. When average stakes were between £10.01-£20, there were 40,926 high-loss sessions; at £5.01-£10.00 there were 5,613.
  • Only with a stake at or below £2 are these high-loss sessions effectively eliminated, with just 14 instances where the stake average was between 51p and £2.

Overall, there were 797,657 sessions on B2 only machines in 2015/6 where a consumer lost in excess of £500, the level considered ‘high-loss’ according to the DCMS.

The analysis reinforces the need for a £2 stake on FOBTs if the priority is harm minimisation. The Government has committed to reduce the FOBT stake limit from its current level of £100, and is expected to announce the new level soon.

A £2 stake limit has previously been backed by 93 local authorities, the Royal Society for Public Health and the Church of England’s General Synod. A recent YouGov survey of over 100 MPs found 62% were in favour of a £2 stake.

John White, CEO of bacta, comments: “We were deeply concerned by the Gambling Commission’s advice that a stake level of up to £30 should be considered on FOBTs excluding slots. “This analysis reinforces those worries, demonstrating the clear link between high-loss sessions on FOBTs and stake levels of between £5 and £30.

“It could not be clearer that only a £2 stake maximum can help protect vulnerable people from major losses on these machines, which are the source of so much needless and avoidable harm. A £2 stake is the only safe and sensible option to limit the damage caused by FOBTs, and we urge Government to acknowledge this and act.”




Media Enquiries: 
John White, CEO
020 7730 6444
07875 687370

About bacta:
Bacta represents the amusement and gaming machine industry in the UK, encompassing high-tech and creative manufacturers, machine suppliers for pubs, clubs and bingo halls, as well as operators of Family Entertainment Centres and over 18s Gaming Centres. Bacta members include the whole of the amusement machine supply chain in the UK, which has a collective turnover of nearly £2bn across more than 500 companies, operating in excess of 310,000 machines.

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