FOBTs allegedly cost UK players over £1bn last year

By David Cook
The Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CfFG) has estimated that £7.8bn was staked on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in high street betting shops in the UK last year.

According to CfFG’s data, a total of £1.57bn was lost by players on FOBTs last year, while the research also shows that vulnerable gamblers lost approximately £626m to bookmakers on roulette machines in the same period.

It has been estimated that the average loss on FOBTs in a Labour constituency was £3.1m, while an average of £2m was lost in Conservative constituencies.

A spokesperson for CfFG said: “This is the third year that we have calculated figures to show the amounts gambled and lost on FOBTs – and the numbers continue to shock year on year.

“What is particularly troubling is not just the amount of money these machines suck from communities, but the type of communities that are worst affected, namely those with high levels of deprivation, immigration and unemployment.

“The evidence stacking up against these machines is beginning to become undeniable. In this period running up to the General Election, MPs and PPCs need to be aware of the amount of money that is being lost on these machines, as well as putting pressure on the next government to tackle this issue head on by reducing the maximum stake from £100 to £2, bringing them in line with all other easily-accessible gaming machines on the high street.”


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