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Press Release: FOBT APPG Interim Report

The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group is today publishing its interim findings from its inquiry into FOBTs. These are the interim findings of the Group which have been submitted to the Department for Culture Media and Sport as part of its Call for Evidence into gaming machines. A full report setting out more detailed recommendations for the Government will be published by the group in January.

The interim findings are:

  • Collectively we find that, from the extensive evidence presented to us, the Government now has a prima facie case for significantly reducing the £100 stake that can be wagered on a Fixed Odds Betting Terminal. The Group sees a strong case for the stake being set at £2. This call is supported many members of Parliament from all political parties and in both houses of Parliament, it is also, the evidence suggests, supported by a significant majority of the public.
  • At the very least the stake should be reduced on a FOBT on a precautionary basis and the precautionary principle should be applied until sufficient evidence is presented to the Government that the high stakes on these machines do not cause harm.
  • In addition to reviewing the stake level, the Government should also consider reducing the speed of spin on a FOBT in order to reduce the potential for harm to be caused and also review the number of FOBTs permitted in an individual bookmaker.
  • The Government should address localism concerns and calls for greater controls over FOBTs at the local level. Powers should be given to prevent the clustering of betting shops.
  • The Group has heard many reports of the increased levels of crime resulting from the presence of FOBTs in bookmakers. While this suggests the staking level and number of FOBTs should be addressed by the Government, we also urge them to review the levels of staffing in bookmakers to ensure appropriate protection and supervision of players and the safety of bookmaker staff.
  • In considering the impact of FOBTs, it is critical that the Government considers not just the impact on ‘problem gambling’ but wider gambling related harm caused by FOBT machines and the cumulative impact on families and communities that these machines can have.
  • The Government has a duty to protect the most vulnerable in our society and to act in the public interest. We strongly urge them to do so and do so with immediate effect.

Carolyn Harris, Chair of the FOBT APPG said:

“In this interim report we note that, from the evidence presented to us, the Government now has clear case for significantly reducing the £100 stake that can be wagered on a Fixed Odds Betting Terminal.

The Group sees a strong case for the stake being set at £2. This call is supported many members of Parliament from all political parties and in both houses of Parliament, it is also supported by a significant majority of the public.

At the very least, the stake should be reduced on a FOBT on a precautionary basis. The precautionary principle should be applied until sufficient evidence is presented to the Government that the high stakes on these machines do not cause harm rather than the onus being to prove that they do cause harm.

The Government has a duty to protect the most vulnerable in our society and to act in the public interest. We therefore strongly urge them to properly regulate FOBTs and to do so with immediate effect.”

Please click here to download report

Notes to Editors

  1. The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) All Party Parliamentary Group has been created to provide a forum for discussion and further investigation into the impact of FOBTs in our communities. This group, powered by the passion of the members in both houses of Parliament on this issue, will allow a coordinated effort among politicians of all political parties, to come together to discuss how best to address the issues that FOBTs are causing to our communities.
  1. For more information, please contact Carolyn Harris MP, the Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group or the secretariat for the Group: Katherine.morgan@interelgroup.com 07973 884797
  1. The Group’s final report will be made publicly available in early 2017.

Press Release: FOBT APPG Chair welcomes Government Review of Gaming Machines

Carolyn Harris MP, Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group

Government Review on Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures

Press Release

Carolyn Harris MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), today welcomes the Government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, which includes a review of FOBTs.

Ms Harris and others in the All Party Group have been calling for this review for some time.

The Group is currently undertaking a wide-ranging inquiry into FOBTs and will be feeding in evidence from its inquiry into this review.

The APPG will be hearing evidence from the Gambling Minister Tracey Crouch MP and Sarah Harrison the CEO of the Gambling Commission in November.

Carolyn Harris MP said:

“I very much welcome the Government’s announcement of the, long awaited, review into gaming machines, including Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. The FOBT All Party Parliamentary Group has been calling for this review for some time. I hope the Government will take this opportunity to address the £100 stake on FOBTs and the regulation of them.

Evidence given to the FOBT All Party Group inquiry has demonstrated the impact these machines are having on all our communities and proven that there is strong case for stake reduction.

I look forward to working with the Government on this important review in the coming weeks”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) All Party Parliamentary Group has been created to provide a forum for discussion and further investigation into the impact of FOBTs in our communities. This group, powered by the passion of the members in both houses of Parliament on this issue, will allow a coordinated effort among politicians of all political parties, to come together to discuss how best to address the issues that FOBTs are causing to our communities.
  1. For more information, please contact Carolyn Harris MP, the Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group or the secretariat for the Group: Kenneth Pritchard pritchard@interelgroup.com T: 0207 592 3800
  1. The group’s report will be made publicly available in early 2017.
  1. Oral evidence sessions will be held each month and the attendees will be listed on the group website fobt-appg.com .These sessions will be by invitation only. Please contact kenneth.pritchard@interelgroup.com if you would like to attend.
  1. Written Submissions are being accepted. Please contact the Group Secretariat, Kenneth Pritchard pritchard@interelgroup.com for more information.

Press Release: Fixed Odds Betting Terminals APPG hears from Local Government

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group

 Press Release

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals APPG hears from Local Government

In the latest session of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group inquiry into “Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – Assessing the Impact”, the APPG will be hearing from Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham Council and the Local Government Association, later today.

Newham Council have led a Sustainable Communities Act appeal, with support from 92 other councils in England and Wales, calling for the Government to reduce the stake on FOBTs in high street bookmakers to £2.

Alongside Sir Robin, Anita Lower, Licencing Spokesperson for the Local Government Authority will give evidence of how the LGA and local authorities across the country have experienced the impact of FOBTs.

In a series of hearings, the APPG inquiry will be taking oral evidence from the range of stakeholders in the FOBT debate from gambling addiction experts and FOBT users, to regulators, bookmaker Chief Executives and their representatives.

Using this evidence the group will publish a report setting out their findings early in 2017.

Further information on the All Party Group and details of further sessions due to be held later this year can be found at www.fobt-appg.com

Carolyn Harris MP the Chair of the All Party Group said:

“I am delighted to Chair this important inquiry. The FOBT All Party Group, a genuinely cross party group, will seek to fully assess the impact of FOBTs on our society and economy. It is time for a proper look to be taken at the impact of these machines on all our communities”

 

Notes to Editors

  1. The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) All Party Parliamentary Group has been created to provide a forum for discussion and further investigation into the impact of FOBTs in our communities. This group, powered by the passion of the members in both houses of Parliament on this issue, will allow a coordinated effort among politicians of all political parties, to come together to discuss how best to address the issues that FOBTs are causing to our communities.
  1. For more information, please contact Carolyn Harris MP, the Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group or the secretariat for the Group: Kenneth Pritchard pritchard@interelgroup.com T: 0207 592 3800
  1. The group’s report will be made publicly available in early 2017.
  1. Oral evidence sessions will be held each month and the attendees will be listed on the group website fobt-appg.com .These sessions will be by invitation only. Please contact kenneth.pritchard@interelgroup.com if you would like to attend.
  1. Written Submissions are being accepted. Please contact the Group Secretariat, Kenneth Pritchard pritchard@interelgroup.com for more information.

Press Release: Group holds first session of its inquiry into FOBTs hearing from gamblers and the Campaign for Fairer Gambling

APPG

“Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – Assessing the Impact”

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – All Party Group – Press Release

Group holds first session of its inquiry into FOBTs hearing from gamblers and the Campaign for Fairer Gambling

The newly formed Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group has held the first session of its inquiry in Parliament on Wednesday 6 July.

In the group’s first evidence session, Parliamentarians heard from gamblers who have experienced at first hand, the problems which can be caused by Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. They also heard from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling who has been campaigning to get the maximum stake that can be wagered from £100 to £2.

The Groups inquiry called “Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – Assessing the Impact” is running from now until the end of the year.

In a series of hearings, the inquiry will be taking oral evidence from the range of stakeholders in the FOBT debate from gambling addiction experts and FOBT users, to regulators, bookmaker Chief Executives and their representatives.

The inquiry would also welcome written submissions from interested parties by 31 July 2016.

Using this evidence the group will publish a report setting out their findings early in 2017.

Further information on the All Party Group can be found at www.fobt-appg.com

Carolyn Harris, the MP for Swansea East and the Chair of the All Party Group said:

“We are looking forward to the first session of our inquiry into Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. It is very important to hear from FOBT users, who have experienced at first hand the many difficulties and problems which FOBTs can cause. We are hoping we can learn from their experiences and are very grateful to the individuals for coming to meet with us.”

 

Notes to Editors

  1. The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) All Party Parliamentary Group has been created to provide a forum for discussion and further investigation into the impact of FOBTs in our communities. This group, powered by the passion of the members in both houses of Parliament on this issue, will allow a coordinated effort among politicians of all political parties, to come together to discuss how best to address the issues that FOBTs are causing to our communities.
  1. For more information, please contact Carolyn Harris MP, the Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group or the secretariat for the Group: Kenneth Pritchard kenneth.pritchard@interelgroup.com T: 0207 592 3800
  1. The group’s report will be made publicly available in early 2017.
  1. Oral evidence sessions will be held each month and the attendees will be listed on the group website www.fobt-appg.com .These sessions will be by invitation only. Please contact kenneth.pritchard@interelgroup.com if you would like to attend.
  1. Written Submissions should be sent by 31 July 2016 to Kenneth Pritchard kenneth.pritchard@interelgroup.com

Press Release: Welsh launch of the Fixed Oddss Betting Terminals APPG Inquiry “Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – Assessing the Impact”

Carolyn Cardiff Conference

The newly formed Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Group has today had the Welsh launch for its inquiry “Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – Assessing the Impact”.

In a series of hearings, the inquiry will be taking oral evidence from the range of stakeholders in the FOBT debate from gambling addiction experts and FOBT users, to regulators, bookmaker Chief Executives and their representatives.

The inquiry would also welcome written submissions from interested parties by 31 July 2016.

Using this evidence the group will publish a report setting out their findings early in 2017.

Further information on the All Party Group can be found at www.fobt-appg.com

According to the research, there were nearly 1,500 fixed odds betting terminals in Wales in 2012 and the average person staked £675 during the year.

Addiction experts have warned that Wales has “a serious gambling problem”. The most recent data from The Gambling Commission has revealed that Welsh gamblers staked more than £1.6bn on fixed odds betting terminals in 2012 and lost nearly £52m.

Carolyn Harris, the MP for Swansea East and the Chair of the All Party Group said:

“I am delighted to announce this important inquiry in Wales. The FOBT All Party Group, a genuinely cross party group, will seek to fully assess the impact of FOBTs which are having a serious detrimental impact on our society and economy Wales. It is time for a proper look to be taken at the impact of these machines on all our communities. ”

Stuart McDonald MP, the Vice Chair of the group said:

“This inquiry will enable us to take a fresh look at the impact of FOBTs on our communities in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. The Government has a duty of care to protect the vulnerable. The aim of this inquiry is to provide a final comprehensive analysis to enable them to do so.”

 

Notes to Editors

  1. The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) All Party Parliamentary Group has been created to provide a forum for discussion and further investigation into the impact of FOBTs in our communities. This group, powered by the passion of the members in both houses of Parliament on this issue, will allow a coordinated effort among politicians of all political parties, to come together to discuss how best to address the issues that FOBTs are causing to our communities.
  1. For more information, please contact Carolyn Harris MP, the Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group or the secretariat for the Group: Kenneth Pritchard kenneth.pritchard@interelgroup.com T: 0207 592 3800
  1. The group’s report will be made publicly available in early 2017.
  1. Oral evidence sessions will be held each month and the attendees will be listed on the group website www.fobt-appg.com .These sessions will be by invitation only. Please contact kenneth.pritchard@interelgroup.com if you would like to attend.
  1. Written Submissions should be sent by 31 July 2016 to Kenneth Pritchard kenneth.pritchard@interelgroup.com

First Evidence Session of the FOBT Inquiry Announced

The FOBT APPG will be undertaking the first evidence session in its inquiry on Wednesday 6th July at 10am in the House of Commons. At this session the group will be hearing from gamblers who have experienced FOBTs and the impact that they can have at first hand.

Attendance at this session is by invite only. If you would like to attend this session please contact the Group’s secretariat Kenneth.Pritchard@interelgroup.com

Press Release – “Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – Assessing the Impact” Inquiry Launched

Inquiry launched into the impact of FOBTs

The newly formed Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Group has today launched its inquiry “Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – Assessing the Impact”.

In a series of hearings, the inquiry will be taking oral evidence from the range of stakeholders in the FOBT debate from gambling addiction experts and FOBT users, to regulators, bookmaker Chief Executives and their representatives.

The inquiry would also welcome written submissions from interested parties by 31 July 2016.

Using this evidence the group will publish a report setting out their findings early in 2017.

Further information on the All Party Group can be found at www.fobt-appg.com

Carolyn Harris MP the Chair of the All Party Group said:

“I am delighted to announce this important inquiry. The FOBT All Party Group, a genuinely cross party group, will seek to fully assess the impact of FOBTs on our society and economy. It is time for a proper look to be taken at the impact of these machines on all our communities”

Stuart McDonald MP, the Vice Chair of the group said:

“This inquiry will enable us to take a fresh look at the impact of FOBTs on our communities in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. The Government has a duty of care to protect the vulnerable. The aim of this inquiry is to provide a final comprehensive analysis to enable them to do so.”

 

Notes to Editors

  1. The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) All Party Parliamentary Group has been created to provide a forum for discussion and further investigation into the impact of FOBTs in our communities. This group, powered by the passion of the members in both houses of Parliament on this issue, will allow a coordinated effort among politicians of all political parties, to come together to discuss how best to address the issues that FOBTs are causing to our communities.
  1. For more information, please contact Carolyn Harris MP, the Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group or the secretariat for the Group: Kenneth Pritchard kenneth.pritchard@interelgroup.com T: 0207 592 3800
  1. The group’s report will be made publicly available in early 2017.
  1. Oral evidence sessions will be held each month and the attendees will be listed on the group website fobt-appg.com .These sessions will be by invitation only. Please contact kenneth.pritchard@interelgroup.com if you would like to attend.
  1. Written Submissions should be sent by 31 July 2016 to Kenneth Pritchard kenneth.pritchard@interelgroup.com