UK Top Bookmakers Agree to Expanded Analysis and Testing FOBT Machines

Fruit Machine TaxThe United Kingdom’s gambling industry has agreed to hand over one of their fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) to the University of Lincoln, for a more extensive research and analysis of how the machines are played and how they affect punters particularly in the poorer areas of UK communities.

This is in response to the ultimatum previously given by Culture Minister Helen Grant to the top five betting companies operating in the country, for which the firms have until the end of March to show proof that they have incorporated the necessary player protection measures.

Last month, Prime Minister David Cameron voiced his acknowledgment of the concerns raised over the tremendous increase of FOBTs in high streets during the past five years. Gaming Commission reports have it that there are now more than 33,000 of such machines in operation, from which the country’s leading bookmakers have derived an estimated £1.5 billion annually, representing about fifty percent of their yearly earnings.

Although the Gambling Act 2005 imposed a limit of four terminals for each betting shop, gambling operators found a loophole by opening more betting shops in which to install the equipment. As a result, this created a boom in betting shop operations as supported by a publication released by commercial property tracker, the Estates Gazette. It stated that nine percent of high street floor spaces are now occupied by bookmakers.

Actually, the Labour Party initiated the calls for legislative reforms in controlling the proliferation and operation of FOBTs. Ms. Grant was quick to point out that it was also the Labour Party that brought in gambling legislative amendments that permitted bookmakers to install the high-speed, high-stakes fixed-odds machines in betting shops.

February 18, 2014 by : posted in Gambling News No Comments