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Government Review - Social Responsibility

3rd November 2017

The Government has published proposals on changes to a variety of gaming and gambling machines in the UK, social responsibility measures around these machines as well as online gambling and the advertising of gambling activities.

This includes Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), something which you will probably have heard quite a lot about. FOBTs are electronic gambling machines, found in high street betting shops, which contain a variety of games like roulette. Each machine accepts bets for amounts up to a pre-set maximum of £100 and pays out according to fixed odds on the simulated outcomes of games.

With up to four machines currently allowed in each licensed betting shop, these machines offer relatively easy access to higher stakes gambling. Our support services do hear from people who are gambling on these machines problematically, as well as other activities and facilities.

GamCare take a non-judgmental approach to gambling. Our primary focus is on helping people who have developed problems related to gambling, however we would always argue for balance messages so that consumers can make informed choices. We believe people need to understand the risks associated with any form of gambling, and how they can manage them if they would like to gamble.

We support all player protection measures for FOBTs, such as increased interaction with staff within venues, monitoring of play and encouraging people to set limits on their spending. We do know that these measures will not help all gamblers from developing problems, so the Government’s proposals to reduce maximum stakes to reduce large financial losses are welcome.

We’re pleased to see that the Government is taking a holistic view of how gambling-related harm may occur, including how advertising gambling products may affect young or vulnerable people and how gambling companies can better identify markers of harm, as well as how the industry can better fund research, education and treatment for gambling-related harm in the UK. We will be feeding into the consultation over the next 12 weeks.

If you or someone you know is affected by problem gambling, you can talk to our Advisers via the National Gambling HelpLine every day between 8am – Midnight on Freephone 0808 8020 133, or via web chat via our NetLine.

To read the Government's full recommendations click here.