Scots lost almost £5 billion on FOBTs last year

As campaigners call for crackdown on betting terminals, Scots blew almost £5 billion on FOBTs last year.

UK.- According to new figures, the total amount wagered on the casino-type fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in 2015 was £4.9 billion, up from £3.4 billion the previous 12 months in Scotland.

Fixed odds betting terminals, allow punters to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on computer-generated versions of casino games. Campaigners across Great Britain call for crackdown on FOBTs and for a £2 cap on stakes in a bid to help curb gambling addiction.

“Panorama looks set to reveal more disturbing evidence of the harm these machines can cause,” said Adrian Parkinson, of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling. “Our latest estimates of FOBT gambling show a continued rapid growth in losses with the bookmakers now deploying new game content that entices players into what they call ‘low stake games’ that suddenly introduce the player to stakes of up to £100 a spin.”

According to figures from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, which are based on industry data, showed that in Scotland the amount lost last year on the machines was £171 million, up from £158 million the previous year. In other words, Scots put £854 million into FOBTs and staked £4.9 billion, which includes cash they won on the machines and subsequently gambled. The figure is almost the equivalent of £1000 for every person in Scotland.

An Association of British Bookmakers spokesman said: “We’ll continue to work with the government, Gambling Commission and charities on measures that will help problem gamblers.”