Bishop: Fixed Odds Betting Terminals proposal 'simply does not go far enough' to protect most vulnerable


The Bishop of St Albans, a leading campaigner for measures to limit the harm done by Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), has responded to recommendations from the Gambling Commission.

The Rt Revd Alan Smith supports reducing the maximum stake on the machines to £2, from the current level of £100. The Commission has recommended limiting the stake to at least £30, but has left it up to the Government to decide the final figure.

Bishop Alan said: "Any stake on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals higher than £2 simply does not go far enough to protect the interests of the most vulnerable, their families, and communities.
"When Ministers choose the stake for these machines, they must put the interests of those affected by them ahead of concerns about tax take or the powerful gambling lobby.
"We desperately need a scheme of gambling regulation that is ordered, sensible, and has care for the vulnerable at its core. I hope the Ministers will be courageous and use the review to do the right thing and reduce the maximum stake to £2."