Reportedly, the gambling industry in Gibraltar will not be affected by the UK Government’s review fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) which has been recently published after months of consideration.
At the end of October, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced the results of the gambling industry review that has been primarily focused on controversial FOBTs, is to be followed by the final decision of the Department after a 12-week consultation period, and then, by the final decision of the Government.
As a result of the review, a crackdown on the UK gambling industry could follow, with the maximum stake of fixed-odds betting terminals being reduced to as much as £2. The 12-week consultation that is following the review is aimed at inventing methods that would minimise the risk of people who lose large amounts of money in short periods of time.
Maximum FOBTs’ Stakes to Be Reduced
Fixed-odds betting machines are a type of category B2 gaming machines with higher value and are unique to the UK. To date, the terminals provide customers with the opportunity to place a maximum stake of £100 every twenty minutes. Unfortunately, it is exactly the high-speed gameplay, the high maximum bets allowed and the addictive nature of the machines have been some of the maid reasons why UK FOBTs have been put under harsh criticism over the last few years.
As revealed to a spokesman of the Government to the Olive Press, the arrangements in Gibraltar were being kept under constant review and monitoring. According to the British Government, for the time being the British Overseas Territory has not faced issues associated with fixed-odds betting terminals, which allegedly have been some of the most serious gambling industry problems on the territory of the UK.
After the 12-week consultation period is brought to an end, the country’s Government would come up with a final decision on the FOBTs. Previously, a special consultation paper has been released by the Government on various options related to the reduction of the maximum stakes allowed at fixed-odds betting machines. The possible options available in the consultation paper ranged from £2 to £50.
Now, over the consultation period, the Governmental Department is to reach the UK Gambling Commission in order to get more information about the variety of options related to tracking and gameplay monitoring. It is to further consider the most suitable option for reduction of the FOBTs’ maximum stake.
Enhancing Social Responsibility Measures
The British Government is also focused on boosting the customer protection standards for online gambling. Raising social responsibility measures has become one of the top priorities of the country’s authorities due to the increasing number of gambling addictions. The Government is also willing to reduce gambling-related and FOBTs-related risks for more vulnerable individuals.
A new advertising campaign, involving advertisers, broadcasters and industry groups, is also to be launched to promote responsible gambling. The 2-year campaign is to feature a budget of between £5 to £7 million, with the funding to be provided by both land-based and online gambling operators.