During 2016, gamblers in Chelmsford, England, have lost almost £3 million to FOBTs and concerns around them keep growing.
UK.- Days ago, it was revealed that Teeside gamblers have lost £12 million to Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) and caused the Campaign for Fairer Gambling to brand them as the ‘crack-cocaine of gambling’. A new report on FOBTs, this time assessing their performance at the city of Chelmsford, Essex, has revealed that local gamblers have lost £2,868,482 on 55 machines across 15 betting shops during last year and raises the cumulative loss since 2008 to £19,433,536.
Regarding the heavy criticism FOBTs have received, a spokesperson for the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) took the same stance as the body did when asked about the Teeside situation and said: “People choose to spend their money on a range of leisure pursuits including going to the cinema, eating out in restaurants or going to the pub. Far more will have been spent on most of these activities by people in Chelmsford and across Essex than has been spent on gambling in bookmakers.”
The Association spokesperson also highlighted that gambling on machines “represents just 13 per cent of the total money spent on gambling and added that the ABB “strongly encourages all those engaging in gambling activities to gamble responsibly and in Chelmsford bookmakers employ over 150 highly trained staff to provide help to anyone getting into difficulties with their gambling.”