20.032018Gambling Commission Recommends FOBTs Maximum
Shares in bookmakers rose after the review stopped short of the rumor that wagering limit could be set as low as $2. The Gambling Commission recommended that the maximum bet for fixed-odds betting terminals or FOBTs be set at least $30.
Shares in bookmakers Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill rose up 4 percent in early trading as the suggestion stopped short of the rumor that the regulator would go further.
Anti-FOBT Advocates Criticizes the Move
Anti-FOBT advocates – who call the system the “crack cocaine of betting” – have criticized the commission for failing to consider a maximum wager of $2.
High-speed power casino games are believed to be quite addictive and presently allow a bet of up to $100 per 20 seconds, enabling casino players to theoretically wager away $18,000 per hour.
The $30 ceiling would apply to all “non-slot” casino games such as Baccarat and Roulette – the most popular FOBT casino games.
The Gambling Commission’s review was done to try to limit the risk to gamblers.
The Commission’s Findings
The commission found that the limit should be set at $30 or less “if it’s to have a major effect on the potential for casino players to lose a huge amount of cash in a short time”.
There are over 30,000 FOBTs around the nation, which currently have max $100 wager limit.
An overdue review published last year recommended that this should be reduced to $2, $20, $30, or $50. Reducing the ceiling to $2 would have led to a sharp reduction in income for bookmakers.
Major Reactions across the Board
Labor MP Jim McMahon stated he was “disappointed” with the decision and tweeted: “I hope Gov (government) go further”.
Fellow labor colleague Carolyn Harris commented it is “outrageous” that the commission wants “brave enough” to implement the $2 limit and stated that the machines “blight” continue.
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