The Labour MP has revealed the staggering amount lost on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney constituency and backed the work of the FOBT All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) in Parliament, expressing his support for the Group’s ‘Cut the Stake, Reduce FOBT Harm’ campaign.
FOBTs allow punters to stake £100 every 20 seconds on electronic versions of casino games such as roulette, but in a low supervision high street bookie environment. Political concern and controversy has been growing about the highly addictive nature of the machines, with one campaign group even calling them the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling.
The Government is currently considering responses from the Call for Evidence into Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility launched in October 2016. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is expected to publish the next stage of the Review, with its proposals, in October 2017.
The FOBT APPG is chaired by Carolyn Harris MP and is supported by groups including Bacta, The Hippodrome Casino, Novomatic, Praesepe and the Royal Society for Public Health. The FOBT was established by cross party MPs and Peers to investigate the impact of FOBTs. The Group published its Report ‘Assessing the Impact’ In January this year. More information is available at http://www.fobt-appg.com/