The most recent UK Gambling Commission UKGC report was aimed at Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) and was eagerly awaited. In the report, FOBTs and their maximum stakes were reviewed.
The report came as a response to the public debate on FOBTs. Currently, FOBTs allow players to bet CA$182.47 every half a minute. Subsequently, critics claim that the gaming machines are more addictive than traditional gambling. In addition, FOBTs target the poverty-stricken and negatively impact societies. The report calls for action from the government and FOBT operators.
UKGC Chief Executive, Neil McArthur said: “we’ve put consumers at the heart of our advice – advice which is based on the best available evidence and is focused on reducing the risk of gambling-related harm.” He added, according to the UKGC “a stake cut for FOBT’s doesn’t go far enough to protect vulnerable people; that is why we have recommended a stake cut; plus, a comprehensive package of other measures to protect consumers.”
Key Points from the UKGC Report
The report recommended that slot wagers should be limited to $2.79. However non-slot casino games, like online roulette must have a maximum wager limit of CA$ 54.74! The recommendation for roulette was soft, given that the casino game is the most popular gambling game and brings in the biggest revenue.
According to the report, the limits mentioned above should have a “significant effect on the potential for players to lose large amounts of money in a short space of time.”
Among the recommendations for wager limits was the withdrawal times of FOBTs. Currently, gamblers need to wait 48 hours before a withdrawal transaction is processed. So, this means that gamblers could wait up to five business days to receive their cash.
The report suggested that the gaming machine operators reduce processing time frames to allow for faster payouts. In addition, the report stated that “unreasonable conditions linked to withdrawals such as wagering limits” must be removed.
McArthur concluded by saying, “we have proposed actions that will tackle both the risk of harm and provide solutions that are sustainable in the longer.”