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FOBTs - Reducing the Max Bet

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#1 Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 16:39

iAmFree2

Joined:
2012-01-03

I am sure that many of you here have had terrible experiences with these machines, due to the ease at which they take you money and the fact that you have to walk past a number of them on every highstreet. Today it's headline news on the BBC that the max bet allowed on FOBTs could be forced down from £100 a spin, to as low as £2. But it could still remain as high as £50.

As ministers are currently 'consulting' on the issue for the next 12 weeks, I was wondering if there is more that we could do as a community, to get this max bet as low as possible?  Perhaps a campagn of sending letters to MPs, with a template posted on here, could be a start?

Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 16:47

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

I'm in we need to try to get something started

Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 18:33

Melonade

Joined:
2017-10-31

 

I would agree. 100%.

I also think they need to focus on the online casinos too, I saw one of them had a max bet of £4K 

I think more needs to be done to protect vulnerable people. Gambling causes a lot of mental health issues and also makes existing conditions worse. There needs to be more control from other parties as most of us are unable to judge a sensible financial decision once in the zone. That's my opinion. 

Posted on:
Tue, 31/10/2017 - 22:19

Redbar

Joined:
2017-05-13

Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if they never existed. How many years have people been trying to drop these ridiculous high stakes. Do the government care, I don't believe they do. Look where there situated hmmmm the poorest areas in the country. You go to a up market town and you will be lucky to find any bookmakers. Keep the poor poor and the rich rich. Id rather see them banned than reduced betting terms.

Red

Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 10:21

Phil72

Joined:
2016-10-07

The government as the deputy Labour leader said yesterday could have introduced legislation - instead a consultation period lasting 12 weeks including representatives of the gambling industry! It's garbage.

A template is a great idea but GamCare wouldn't allow it.

Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 14:59

Joydivider

Joined:
2015-03-11

Can I just say that we need to watch out for the hot air token gestures here.

Its also possible to lose a small fortune playing at 20p 50p £1 or £2 a time. Yes £50 or £100 is utterly outrageous but the debate is going to get clouded because it wouldnt really matter if It was 100 or 50....would it?

In the height of an addiction I never set my own limits and I would just have bet again  even on a capped limit. Unlimited play meant I could stand in there for around 12 hours then some people would find a casino after that

There are plenty of people( including me in the past) that think they are being a bit clever by betting lower amounts but it adds up extremely fast at machine rates.

This decision is going to get clouded with token and meaningless gestures. Too many vested interests and fringe benefits....say no more

Best wishes to everyone on the forum

Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 20:48

Phil72

Joined:
2016-10-07

I always think your posts are well-thought and great Joy - especially your post above.

Politically, what's annoyed me is the back-tracking about FOBTs from the government and listening to the rubbish from the industry about job losses and shops closing if stakes are reduced.

What also annoys me is if there is a story in a paper about FOBTs there is never a direct comment from a spokesperson from a specific chain of shops.

It's generally a generic comment from the organisation which represents L, BF, WH, PP etc called the Association of British Bookmakers.

I think you know the shops I mean but obviously you can't mention them on here.

All the best, Phil.

Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 23:01

Joydivider

Joined:
2015-03-11

Yeah thanks Phil. I am open to the debate but knowing the government track record I just feel its a smokescreen which wont even begin to tackle the real issue. They are masters at paying lipservice to problems they dont really want to help with.

They do not seem willing to tackle the real issues which (at the very least) should be less easy access to gambling, signing in, less rapid play and a strict total limit per visit.

The bread and butter of the gambling industry is people betting every few seconds whether it be Vegas or the Uk bookies. My bugbear has always been dont forget the 25p to £2 players who can rack up losses of pounds per minute and hundreds per hour on the lowest stake.

Im just saying that although a £100 per bet sounds horrendous, the zombie trance, steady players can lose thousands in a day and nobody is stopping them.

The problem is that strict session limits go against the profit motive of the gambling dens and gambling taxes. My view is that it will make very little difference if they reduce one maximum stake as the gambler has all day to keep betting.

The other problem is how do you ask an addict what he/she can afford. I would have been really upset if the machine was switched off during a session so its a real issue of how we protect people from gambling.

I would ban all of it but that just isnt going to happen anytime soon. I fear that the government will get away with feeling smug about token gestures which actually make no real difference.

Best wishes to everyone on the forum

 

 

 

Posted on:
Thu, 02/11/2017 - 00:30

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

I have to agree with all this they will never do anything drastic cause of the taxes they get from them end of

Posted on:
Thu, 02/11/2017 - 11:52

iAmFree2

Joined:
2012-01-03

Joydivider wrote:
The bread and butter of the gambling industry is people betting every few seconds whether it be Vegas or the Uk bookies. My bugbear has always been dont forget the 25p to £2 players who can rack up losses of pounds per minute and hundreds per hour on the lowest stake.

Im just saying that although a £100 per bet sounds horrendous, the zombie trance, steady players can lose thousands in a day and nobody is stopping them.

Joy,

Whilst I agree with what you have written, the issue being discussed here is the speed at which bookies are facilitating (encouraging?) large losses to occur.

From my personal gambling history, I have often found myself steadily increasing my bet size as I began to lose control. I could physically feel the dopamine rushing through my brain as upped the stakes and started winning and losing amounts that would make a huge difference to my day, month or even year. This rush of dopamine would completely overpower my self control and all sense of logic would be lost.

I believe that if it was not possible to keep ramping-up the stakes in such a way, dopamine levels would remain more stable, as the brain develops a certain tolerance to the stakes being played. In such an environment some types of gambler, myself included, would find it easier to remain in control.  I know that this max bet restriction doesn’t particularly help the ‘zombie’ low stakes gambler, but I think its benefits shouldn’t be underestimated.

Posted on:
Thu, 02/11/2017 - 18:57

Joydivider

Joined:
2015-03-11

I agree that I will take any step that clearly isnt in the wrong direction. I am with you there iAmFree2 but I dont think it goes anywhere near tackling the real issue that gambling has been deregulated and it causes untold misery

I believe compulsive gamblers would just have kept going at the maximum stake available when trying the double the stake to recover on roulette( note even Einstein said this doesnt work). They would have just done this up to the max stake available and there still a fortune to be lost betting £50 a time or lower

I used to do this from 20p to £2 and I would up the stake when in a bit of a panic mode. For no logical reason my triggers were not to move on to £100 bets but I was still a gambler well out of control as the rent money disappeared into a slot

Call me an old cynic but I cant see it being reduced by enough or coupled with any measures that really help people

The machines will still be there and people will still be action and escape gambling. Its the rate of play and lack of limits which wont stop people from extinction gambling.

Best wishes to everyone on the forum

Posted on:
Thu, 02/11/2017 - 21:00

Phil72

Joined:
2016-10-07

Good thread and important.

Yep JD agree with you and I know from what I've witnessed many active compulsive gamblers who I know I think would continue to use FOBTs even if the stake was 2p a time. Four machines in a shop I think is the law? Heyho! Let's just open another one 200 yards away.

That's why I've always said addictive gambling CAN lead to being ill.

I try not to be as cynical as I used to be but boy have this "government" been swayed by the gambling industry despite the Culture Minister's concerns and even Theresa May

.

As always a pleasure to read your posts JD. All the best, Phil. 

PS "12 week consultation" - come on (not forum users!). ? So in January what will be the result?

Posted on:
Fri, 03/11/2017 - 00:51

Joydivider

Joined:
2015-03-11

I have just read the articles in the broadsheets that the gambling industry will be lobbying for £50.

It needs to be much lower than that but I still feel it will make little difference given the fast rate of play and the opening hours.

Apart from the Casino style games, the arcade games have a high roller game up to £50 which on gives a few spins with some added features to tempt people that its worth the risk and a better choice for "high rollers"  There may be an extra wheel of fortune or giant wild symbol on the reel but watching it play out is no easy chance of getting money

This plays on the show offs and people who get sucked in to believing this hype. The odds get slightly better but the risk is obviously significantly higher. Its all calculated in detail by the machine so its not an easy income scheme  

There is a psychosomatic belief amongst gamblers that this special game will give them the monetary reward but really they are just stepping up the dopamine levels for a bigger fix that they may already be used to.

The other problem is that the addiction needs to be understood. I am a COMPULSIVE gambler which means that I would have fed it all back in anyway. My compulsion was to play and the money took a back seat. That sounds strange to some people but I wanted the machine to love and hate me. Love me... hate me.... punish me... at every press of the button. Thats why I was stood there bored of a dull grey town and a lack of good human relationships or purpose in life.

I needed saving from myself and easy access to gambling off the high street should not be acceptable in a caring and civilised society. Essentially its a den selling legal highs which was destroying me emotionally, financialy and therefore physically

So I would like these higher levels banned but I know that I would have wasted just as much over a slightly longer time period

Best wishes

Posted on:
Sat, 04/11/2017 - 01:11

iAmFree2

Joined:
2012-01-03

Quote:
I believe compulsive gamblers would just have kept going at the maximum stake available when trying the double the stake to recover on roulette( note even Einstein said this doesnt work). They would have just done this up to the max stake available and there still a fortune to be lost betting £50 a time or lower

The 'double-up' or Martingale strategy is only a proftable strategy if you have an infinite bankroll to stake, Einstein was right, of course. Sorry for the aside!

Quote:
 I have just read the articles in the broadsheets that the gambling industry will be lobbying for £50.  It needs to be much lower than that but I still feel it will make little difference given the fast rate of play and the opening hours.

I can only speak from my own experiences on this, but on a certain online poker site, I am able to bet and stay in control with a high degree of confidence.  This is only possible because of the ability within the software to exclude completely from casino games, sports betting etc and the ability to limit the stakes to such as degree, that if I were to get particularly lucky or unlucky, I would remain in control of my emotions.  For me this is a limit of a $5 posible loss on any one hand.

Now, I am sure that the poker site in question has done the maths on this and has come to the conclusion that if poker players stick around for longer, at lower stakes, the vast majority of their money will flow to the house through raked pots, rather than go to the expert high stakes players, who will quickly clean them out and then withdraw the money.  Some time ago I played poker professionally, so I understand the 'poker economy' very well.  (By the way, I do not recommend poker as a way to earn a living, please don't try).

I believe the bookies would need to be forced to adopt the same system, as there is no obvious benefit to them.  But they should be forced to adpot such a system, due to the very addictive nature of the games that they are offering.

In order to begin playing on a FOBT, you should have to create an account using a driving licence or passport. You should be able to set your own personal stakes and allowed games.  Any decrease in stakes should happen immediately and any increase should take 24 hours.  You should also be able to set a daily, weekly and monthly deposit limit  and be able to self exclude.

This is what I am going to ask for when I write to my MP. If I am allowed to, I will post a template letter here so that others can easily do the same.

Posted on:
Sat, 04/11/2017 - 23:04

Mikey H

Joined:
Before 2009

iAmFree2 wrote:

In order to begin playing on a FOBT, you should have to create an account using a driving licence or passport. You should be able to set your own personal stakes and allowed games.  Any decrease in stakes should happen immediately and any increase should take 24 hours.  You should also be able to set a daily, weekly and monthly deposit limit  and be able to self exclude.

This is what I am going to ask for when I write to my MP. If I am allowed to, I will post a template letter here so that others can easily do the same.

This is what I think should be key - creating a gambling licence of sorts that can make effective self-exclusion across the industry a real possibility.

It can't be beyond the capabilities of the industry. The majority of FOBTs already have a card reader for the individual brand loyalty cards, which I'm sure could be converted to require the license to unlock the system for use.

The application means wherever a CG sees a machine, or visits an online sites, they simply cannot gamble if opted to a temporary or permanent exclusion. At the same time protects the youngsters who can no longer sneak in and gamble underage.

Going back to the stake reduction - always seems a false flag to me compared to the account-based play and self-exclusion methods, but may be because I'm a slot addict and the £2 limit would have left the majority of my play unaffected. I think most slot players would be indifferent to losing the £10-£50 big bet options.

There is also the fear that you drive the affected players online. I'm not sure people are going to want to play roulette for a max £2 stake so you do effectively kill that in the bookies, but if they want to play they are suddenly online with sites that can take as much as £100k per spin on roulette.

Even if they never get to that level, roulette addicts may be at even more risk now they can keep doubling stakes way beyond £100 a pop.

Equally from a slot point of view - the migration to online leaves the option of things as much as £600 per spin on slots. I can't see how even professional footballers can be able to spin away £600 every 2 seconds on high variance slots.  It really is the wild west out there. 

Don't want this to be seen as me saying 'FOBTs are great guys!' because they obviously aren't, I'm just fearful that the focus of the debate is in the wrong place and there me some bad unintended consequences.

Reiterate that effective self-exclusion and a multi-platform account-based play is what we need. I'm a liberal, I'd hate the idea of banning anything, we just need to protect those who are at risk (me included unfortunately!)

At least the debate is happening in the right places now though, hopefully the lobbyists don't win and we get a way better regulated gambling industry in the not too distant future.

Posted on:
Sat, 04/11/2017 - 23:26

Gem1209

Joined:
2017-08-14

Dont expect nothing from this government they’re all crooks with their hands in the pie.  It’s obvious what needs to be done with the self exclusions but they’d rather give you the **** they already are 

Token gesture.

Everything down to this site is payed for by the industry.

That’s why you’re not allowed to mention names of places you’ve excluded from because they carry the responsibility logo.

All these companies that are certified and supposed to be socially responsible are not even close.

Posted on:
Sun, 05/11/2017 - 01:00

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

I agree the online multi self exclusion will be sorted out end of year but they need a better system for bookies

Posted on:
Sun, 05/11/2017 - 14:01

Gem1209

Joined:
2017-08-14

What you have to remember is these machines are set to pay out between 3p and 10p per pound staked over the life of the machine.  If that’s not enough to put you off nothing is.

Posted on:
Fri, 24/11/2017 - 17:01

Boro

Joined:
2012-07-01

For me fobt are my main thing I self destruct on. So a reduction to £2 would mean I would not have any urge to play them because £2 on a roulette spin would be pointless. But I cannot see them reducing so low. It will be probably £20 or £30