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APPG Statement as FOBT losses pass £3billion

Today marks £3billion having now been lost on FOBTs since DCMS launched its consultation on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals over 600 days ago.

We call on the Government to immediately make good on its promise from the 17th May and make a £2 stake a reality.

£2 is the only stake level to be supported by the Church of England, 93 local councils and the Royal Society for Public Health as well as the three largest political parties in Westminster, the Conservatives, Labour and the Scottish National Party.

Any further delay in the implementation of a £2 stake is a clear abandonment of those people who are most affected by these machines, the same people who Theresa May’s Government have promised to protect under her premiership, be they problem gamblers or their local communities who are just about managing to survive the financial drain of FOBTs.

Annual General Meeting – 19th June

The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group will be holding an Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 19th June from 11:30pm to 12:30pm in Committee room R of Portcullis House.

The group will consider the next steps of the campaign for a £2 stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals to ensure the Government implements this change as soon as possible.

Whilst the meeting will start in private, guests are welcome to attend the public section of this AGM.

Please RSVP with the APPG’s Secretariat tosin.adedayo@interelgroup.com to confirm your attendance.

Statement following DCMS announcement of £2 stake

Clarification of Gambling Commission Advice on FOBT Stakes

Carolyn Harris MP and Ian Duncan Smith MP have written on behalf of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals APPG to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to raise a number of points that emerged from a meeting between the APPG and Gambling Commission.

In particular the FOBT APPG wishes to highlight that the Gambling Commission have confirmed that their advice to the department recommended that the stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals be reduced to £30 or less and that they in no way oppose a £2 stake on FOBTs, despite misleading claims in the media.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – Loss Calculator Launched

New Fixed Odds Betting Terminals loss calculator launched by the FOBT APPG shows the extent of losses on FOBTs with £57 lost every second and £3,424 lost every minute by gamblers.

The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group has today launched a loss calculator on its website http://www.fobt-appg.com/

This calculator shows the money that gamblers are losing each day on FOBT machines and the total amount lost on FOBT machines since the end of the Government’s consultation on gaming machines which closed on 23 January 2018. Every day that the Government delay making a decision on FOBTs the losses mount up by £5m. This money is also often lost by those who can least afford it.

The total amount of money being lost by gamblers on FOBTs is:

£57.09 a second

£3,424 a minute

£205,500.000 an hour

£5m a day

£34.6m a week

£150m a month and

£1.8bn a year

This money which is being lost by gamblers and paid to betting companies could pay for the following each year:

77,646 nurses

58,250 police officers

63,988 secondary school teachers

£61,339 fireman

Carolyn Harris MP, the Chair of the FOBT APPG said:

“The FOBT loss calculator shows the amount of money being lost by gamblers every second of every day, often by those who can least afford it. Every day that the Government delays making a decision on the FOBT stake, the amount of money lost grows by £5m. This is unacceptable.”

“The Government must not delay any longer. The stake on FOBTs must be reduced immediately to £2 to prevent further harm to the most vulnerable in our society”

 

Ronnie Cowan, the Vice Chair of the FOBT APPG said:

“I very much welcome this calculator which shows the magnitude of the losses that are happening as a result of FOBTs. As the Secretary of State himself has said, FOBTs are a ‘social blight’ on all our communities and the Government must reduce the stake to £2 with immediate effect.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Carolyn Harris MP is the Member of Parliament for Swansea East. She is the Chair of the All Party Group on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, a Group she founded in 2016.
  2. Ronnie Cowan is the MP for Inverclyde and Vice Chair of the APPG as well as being an active campaigner on FOBTs.
  3. The loss calculator is calculated using Gambling Commission figures from April 2014 to March 2017 and based on Licensed Betting Shop opening hours of 12 hours per day Monday to Saturday and 7 hours per day on a Sunday.
  4. The FOBT APPG has undertaken two inquiries into FOBTs and written to the Prime Minster imploring her to act on these machines.
  5. Further information on the FOBT APPG can be found at http://www.fobt-appg.com/
  6. For further inquiries please contact the secretariat of the Group Morgan@interelgroup.com 07973 884797

William Hill Fined £6.2m by Gambling Commission – Response from  Carolyn Harris MP, Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group – Tuesday 20 February 2018

Betting firm William Hill has been hit with a £6.2m penalty package for breaching anti-money-laundering and social responsibility regulations. The penalty is the second biggest imposed by the Gambling Commission.

Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East and Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group, comments:

“I was deeply concerned to hear to hear that the betting firm William Hill has been fined £6.2m for breaching anti-money-laundering and social responsibility regulations.

These are very serious breeches which the Gambling Commission indicate demonstrate systemic problems at the company.

William Hill, along with the wider gambling industry must take their responsibilities in terms of dealing with money laundering and problem gambling seriously.

The Government can also act decisively to minimise risks through reducing the stake on FOBTs to £2 with immediate effect.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Carolyn Harris MP is the Member of Parliament for Swansea East. She is the Chair of the All Party Group on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, a Group she founded in 2016.
  1. The FOBT APPG has undertaken two inquiries into FOBTs and written to the Prime Minster imploring her to act on these machines.
  1. For further inquiries please contact the secretariat of the Group Katherine.Morgan@interelgroup.com 07973 884797

FOBT APPG – MP Pledge Day

On Tuesday 16th January the Fixed Odds Betting Terminal APPG held a drop in session with MPs, Peers and organisations supportive of the campaign for a maximum £2 stake on B2 FOBT machines.

Letter to the Prime Minister

Along with other senior figures and organisations, members of the APPG have written to the Prime Minister urging her to take action on FOBTs

The full letter is available here