Gamblers will lose an estimated £210m on high-stakes betting machines during MPs’ summer holiday, with 12 parliamentary constituencies to see losses of over £1m. Figures show urgency of implementing £2 maximum stake on addictive machines without delay.
Over £200m will be lost on high-stakes Fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) while MPs are on their summer recess, which begins this week.
During the 42-day break, an estimated £210m* will be lost by gamblers on the machines, which have frequently been linked to gambling harm.
In a dozen parliamentary constituencies, player losses are expected to exceed £1m. These include Cities of London, where losses of £3.5m are projected, Holborn and St Pancras (£1.65m) and Bethnal Green and Bow (£1.34m).**
While the Government announced plans to reduce the maximum stake on FOBTs from £100 to £2, concerns have been raised over the delay in implementing the change, which may not become law until 2020.
48 Members of Parliament have signed an Early Day Motion calling on Government to implement the reduction to a £2 stake with immediate effect, citing concerns about the risk of harm to problem gamblers.
The All Party-Parliamentary Group on FOBTs has found that over £3bn of losses have been incurred by gamblers on FOBTs since the Government launched its consultation into stake levels in October 2016.
John White, CEO of bacta, comments:
“As MPs return to their constituencies for the summer recess, we hope many will reflect on the harm that continues to be posed to the people they represent by high stakes FOBTs.
“The Government has taken a huge step forward by ordering a £2 maximum stake, but until that is implemented, problem and at-risk gamblers are still being exposed to dangerously addictive machines on a daily basis. As these figures show, that means many will continue to rack up critically high losses over the summer months.
“The delay between the announcement of the £2 stake and its implementation is clearly too long. There is no technical justification for this and it is putting vulnerable people at risk. The Government has made the right decision, and we now urge it to speed up the process.”
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Image: John White, Bacta Chief Executive
* Based on Fixed odds Betting Terminals APPG estimate of £5m lost on FOBTs each day
** Based on 2015/6 annual loss figures by constituency from Campaign for Fairer Gambling, averaged across a 42-day period
Constituencies that could see consumers lose more than £1m on FOBTs this summer recess
|Constituency||Loss projection for summer recess period|
|Cities of London and Westminster||£3,571,218.58|
|Holborn and St Pancras||£1,657,045.45|
|Bethnal Green and Bow||£1,342,778.20|
|Bermondsey and Old Southwark||£1,142,789.97|
|Camberwell & Peckham||£1,028,510.96|
For further information or to request an interview with a spokesperson, please contact:
The bacta Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0207 632 3800
Bacta is the trade association for the UK’s amusement and gaming machine industry. It represents the interests of over 500 companies and 34,000 employees, among those who manufacture, supply and operate amusement machines. Its members, who range from large manufacturers to suppliers of machines, and the owners of seaside Family Entertainment Centres and over-18 Adult Gaming Centres, have a collective turnover of £1.6 bn. with a contribution to the economy approaching £2 bn.
Bacta represents the UK’s amusement sector, and works to improve the image of the industry, encourage good practice and create an optimal trading environment for all sectors. Bacta spearheaded the campaign calling for the government to significantly reduce the maximum stake on harmful FOBTs. Today, bacta is urging the government to implement the stake decision without further harm to consumers caused by unnecessary delay.
For further information, visit: www.bacta.org.uk