Scottish MP urges FOBTs crackdown

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Scottish National Party MP has urged the government to begin the announced crackdown on FOBTs.

UK.- A British official demanded faster crackdown on controversial fixed-odd betting terminals, as the plan to investigate and regulate the gaming sector has been delayed before the general election. Ronnie Cowan, Scottish National Party MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on FOBTs has urged the government to implement the plan.

“I’ve heard first-hand accounts from individuals whose lives have been affected by gambling related harm and these machines. The evidence shows that these machines are directly linked to problem gambling with 4 out of 5 FOBT gamblers exhibiting problem gambling behaviour at stakes in excess of £13 a spin compared to 1 in 5 at stakes £2 and under,” argued Cowan, according to the newspaper Evening Times.

The official reports show that only in Glasgow, residents lose £35m a year on fixed-odds betting terminals. During the weekend, the discussions over the gaming machines grew as the Daily Mail released an article claiming British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond would stop governmental crackdown on fixed-odd betting terminals’ operations. However, Tracey Crouch, Member of the Parliament and the Under Secretary of State for Sport denied the accusations.

The government’s idea is to limit gaming publicity and to reduce FOBTs maximum stakes from £100 to just £2 as the Gambling Commission published evidence that they could be harmful for players.