Government gambling machine crackdown on bets over £50
In an attempt to defend the public against the life-sapping evil of fixed odds betting machines, ministers have proposed that bets over £50 should be made behind the counter.
Presumably, the idea is that when you see another person looking at you thinking ‘what a loser’, you might see the error of your ways and halt your open-mouthed descent into debt.
Yesterday, a review was announced featuring a range of measures to stop problem gambling, including ID-ing young people, giving councils more power to stop the spread of betting shops in the high street, and restricting gambling ads to after 9pm.
And if that means not having to see those sub-Trainspotting/Guy Ritchie Ladbrokes ads that have just hit every bus shelter in the country like a bucket of poo fired from a cannon, then GOOD.
Culture minister Helen Grant said: ‘The Government wants to make sure the industry is putting player protection and social responsibility at the heart of their businesses.’
But Labour says the measures don’t go far enough, because FOBTs are usually played with small stakes, and risks are taken cumulatively. Labour MP Clive Efford said: ‘Only 7 per cent of plays on FOBTs are above £50 so this will have little impact and players will still be able to stake up to £100 on a single spin by seeking permission from betting shop staff.’
Of course, the logical thing to do would be to scrap FOBTs entirely – but then the whole industry would probably sink to its knees…