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
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0207 592 3800
- The group’s report will be made publicly available in early 2017.
- 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 email@example.com if you would like to attend.
- Written Submissions should be sent by 31 July 2016 to Kenneth Pritchard firstname.lastname@example.org