UK Government to introduce £2 max stake for FOBT machines, online next?

£2 Max stake introduced by UKGCFollowing a review by the UK Gambling Commission, it today has been announced that the UK Government will introduce a £2 maximum stake for Fixed Odd Betting Machines that can be found in the UK bookmakers.

This news is, of course, to be applauded. These machines are seen as the cancer of the gambling industry. Some punters, for a long time now, have been pumping money in the bookmaker machines that they can ill afford to lose. Though there is a limit of the number of machines to be located at individual premises, there is no limit to the number of these premises on the high street. That has resulted in book makers having, sometimes, a proportional high representation on the UK high street to get round the machines per premise limit. It is not unknown to have 3 or 4 book makers within 100 yards.

Reading the above mentioned article further, the UKGC may well concentrate on online gambling next. As Chief Executive Neil McArthur said:

Whilst we welcome the reduced stake, that alone will not be enough to address the risks of harm that can come from all forms of gambling.

That is why we will continue to act in other ways to reduce those risks– including delivering enhanced consumer protection for online gambling in the areas of customer verification, fairness and interaction, implementing strong penalties for businesses who breach advertising guidelines, and reviewing gambling product characteristics to identify whether particular features pose greater risk of harm than others.

There is a hint in that quote that online gambling may well be subjected to maximum stakes in the future. The online gambler may, going forward, no longer be able to buy features on White Rabbit or Extra Chilli that can cost as much as £2,000 a time. Even spinning at a reasonable £5 stake size may be a thing of the past if the UKGC gets their way.

So there you have it. Some good news whilst at the same time us online gamblers should have our fingers crossed that some of the newly introduced measures don’t spill over to the casinos we love to play at. Freedom of choice and taking responsibility for your own actions should surely be enough?

 

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