Cllr Vince Maple, Chatham Central Councillor and Medway Labour Group Leader responds to changes in FOBT Stakes which are introduced from today.
“Having campaigned for changes to Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) stakes since 2012 I welcome that today we have finally seen the maximum stakes reduced from £100 to £2 per play.
“During the campaign I have heard from many individuals who due to their gambling addiction, particularly the high stakes nature of FOBTs which many refer to as the crack cocaine of gambling, they have lost their jobs, their families and their homes.
“In the most tragic cases individuals took their lives. Anyone who has heard those stories will realise why this change is so desperately needed.
“It is worth reflecting one of the other key elements which have been highlighted by this long running campaign – a lack of public health support for gambling addiction compared to drug or alcohol addiction. This has been made worse by cuts in public health spending generally and there is still greater provision required across the country.
“Throughout the past seven years I have repeatedly said that I am not anti gambling but I am anti problem gambling and this product has absolutely led to more problem gamblers.
“Since talking about this issue other gambling industry related problems like the exposure of children as young as 11 to gambling through online “skin gambling” and the links to gambling sites on football club youth pages shows the industry still has further to go in truly acting responsibly.”
Related problems like the exposure of children as young as 11 to gambling through online "skin gambling" and the links to gambling sites on football club youth pages shows the industry still has further to go in truly acting responsibly. Cllr Vince Maple, Chatham Central Councillor and Medway Labour Group Leader