The official has urged the government to take action against FOBTs, as a new study showed that gamblers lose more than £8 million a year.
UK.- Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris has asked the government to take action against FOBTs, after it was revealed that an estimated £498,578 was spent on 15 FOBTs in 2015-2016. The numbers were gathered with data provided by the Gambling Commission and the Responsible Gambling Trust.
As Wales Online reported, the MP said: “The case for action on FOBTs is clear and I urge the Government to act now and cut the stake. There is no excuse for the continued misery these machines are causing. The problems associated with them are obvious, and it is really not acceptable to be able to walk in off the street and stake such a high amount with no checks or safeguards in place whatsoever.”
The official expressed her concerns after hearing that £489,578 was lost to FOBTs in Swansea East. “We cannot go on with this situation,” she said, and urged the Government to bring forward their proposals, and to substantially reduce the stake on FOBTs to £2 without further delay. The UK government is set to publish proposals in October, as it was considering responses to a consultation about gaming machines and social responsibility, as the news outlet unveiled.
A spokesman for the Association of British Bookmakers didn’t agree with the claims that deprived areas suffered the most, and said: “The reality is that betting shops are located in areas of high footfall with 84 per cent of shops located in densely populated areas. The most profitable shops are located in the least deprived areas.” The Campaign for Fairer Gambling said that the research did show that a highly addictive gambling product was available in poor areas of the city.
Gamblers across the Swansea Bay City Region lose approximately more than £8 million a year. on betting shop gaming machines. Earlier this year, the House of Commons decided to reject the amendment of FOBTs in Wales. That way, it was declared that the Welsh government doesn’t have the necessary power to control the operations of the gaming machines, as the UK is still in charge of the sector. The bill would’ve extended the power on FOBTs with maximum stakes over £10.