Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs, also known as B2 gaming machines) have been described as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling.’ Currently FOBTs allow gamblers to spend up to £100 every 20 seconds and have been described by the Competition and Markets Authority as a con. We are not anti gambling, but we are anti problem gambling and the devastating effect it can have on people’s lives. Problem gambling does not have the same level of public health support as other addictions, and FOBTs have fuelled a record number of violent incidents in betting shops, risking the safety of staff and punters.
What we did
Cllr Vince Maple has a long history of fighting against the lack of regulation in the gambling industry, especially FOBTs. Vince lobbied MPs to lower stakes on FOBTS and has been at the front of the FOBTs campaign for years.
The government finally caved under pressure from the community, politicians, and independent thin tanks, to lower the stakes for FOBTs to £2. Unfortunately the government are dragging their feet with this issue and have decided not to implement the change until 2020.
“Chatham has a nigh number of FOBTs and I know these machines ruin people’s lives. I welcome this long overdue regulation, but the delay in implementation means that vulnerable people will continue to be targeted.” Cllr Vince Maple, Labour Group Leader and Councillor for Chatham Central