Control over FOBTs is not working

The reduction on FOBTS’ limit has not shown better results yet.

The assessment was made by GambleAware, Ireland’s national organisation on responsible gaming.

Ireland.- In 2015 the UK Gambling Commission and the Irish government promoted a new regulation on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to limit the wager stakes. The legislation called “£50 Journey” established that amount as the maximum stake per spin a player can bet before being controlled by operators.

Those players who want to make higher bets are obligated to pay over the counter or allow operators to monitor their games through a special account. However, a latest assessment issued by GambleAware, Ireland’s national organisation on responsible gaming, proves that the measure is not achieving the expected results.

The UK Gambling Commission regulation was aimed at reducing the amount of bets on FOBTs, but operators are receiving more £50 stakes. According to SBCNews’s testimony of Professor Ian McHale from the University of Salford, on behalf of GambleAware’s statement, “The average session duration and number of plays per session increased following the regulations, and we found no evidence of a change to the increasing trend in the frequency of high loss session. These findings suggest that future measures to protect vulnerable play may need to consider all dimensions of the gambling architecture including stake limits, prize sizes and speed of play.”

The latest measure of control over FOBTs has leaded to extension of session and an increase of plays or spins per session. “The findings of this independent report clearly conclude there is no evidence that cutting the maximum stake would reduce problem gambling. We have always said that the small number of MPs and others who have suggested lower FOBT limits should look at the evidence,” concluded Malcolm George, chief executive of Association of British Bookmakers.