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Help limit damage of addictive gambling machines

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The government is consulting on ways to regulate highly-addictive gambling machines. A key proposal is to reduce the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT). The maximum stake is currently £100, allowing people to lose £100 every twenty seconds, or up to £18,000 in one hour.

Please take time to respond briefly to the consultation, and answer the first question, agreeing that the maximum stake should be reduced and suggesting that it should be reduced to £2, the lowest option proposed. This would dramatically reduce the social damage of these highly addictive machines. If you are short of time, you need only answer this question.

The government’s call for evidence found widespread support for reducing the maximum stake to £2 because of the very harmful effects of high losses in a short period of time that can occur with higher maximum stakes.

The consultation can be accessed online through this link below.

The consultation closes at midday on 23 January 2018.

Please click here to respond online today.

Other questions in the consultation

Q1 is very straightforward and will take only a few seconds to complete. If you are short of time you need only answer this question. Answer “YES” to reducing the maximum stake on FOBTs. Answer £2 for the alternative maximum stake.

Q2-7 are asking whether you agree with the government’s proposal to maintain the status quo for a range of different gambling machines. The way these questions are phrased means that a response of “No” could be interpreted as an indication that you support increased stakes, whereas we are not happy with the status quo either. We suggest that you do not answer questions 2 to 7.

Q8 asks if you agree with the government’s proposals to increase the stake and prize for prize bingo (gaming), in line with industry proposals. Please answer “NO” to question 8.

Q9 asks whether you support the maintenance of the status quo on the number of gaming machines allowed in different establishments. The status quo is unsatisfactory, but an answer of “NO” could be interpreted as support for relaxing the law. We suggest that you do not answer question 9.

Q10 asks whether you agree with the government’s proposals to bar contactless payments on gaming machines. We agree with this proposal which would continue to prevent credit or debit cards from being used as direct payment for gaming machines. Please answer “YES” to question 10.

Q11 asks whether you support new measures to improve player protection on gaming machines. These include time limits and spend alerts which would help to protect vulnerable people. We suggest you answer “YES” to question 11.

Q12 asks about new measures to improve player protection online. These new measures will be an improvement, so we suggest you answer “YES” to question 12.

Q13 asks whether you support new measures to address concerns about gambling advertising. Once again, the new measures will be an improvement, so we suggest you answer “YES” to question 13.

Q14 asks whether the government should consider enforcing a mandatory levy on gambling companies if the industry does not provide adequate funding for research in to the effects of gambling. We suggest you answer “YES” to question 14.

Q15 asks whether you agree with the government’s assessment of the current powers available to local authorities. We believe that local authorities should have more powers to curb the proliferation of betting shops in local areas. We suggest you answer “NO” to question 15.

The consultation closes at midday on 23 January 2018.

Please respond online today.

Links:


Government Consultation with link to complete online.
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures


For more information, read the Christian Institute’s briefing:
http://www.christian.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/BRIEFING_Consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-Gaming-Machines-and-Social-Responsibility-Measures_Jan2018.pdf

 

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