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Punters lose an additional £126m on crack cocaine betting machines

Why is there an increase in FOBT losses?

The number of money people is losing on crack cocaine terminals in bookies has increased in spite of the Government’s crackdown. The fixed-odds betting terminals, allow gamblers to stake up to £100 three times for one minute on games like Roulette.

To minimise the harm, ministers introduced a law which bans them from wagering over £50 at a time unless they ask a staff member and receive a signature. In spite of this, the amount lost on these machines has increased with £126m for one year. Gamblers are now losing £1.8b a year on FOBT’s. If we compare the 12-month periods before and after the £50 rule change was introduced in 2015, we would say that it has spectacularly failed.

The UKGC also found that the number of people who place bets at £100 a spin has increased since the sessions on the terminals is longer.During 2016 seven customers lost over £10,000 within several hours, and one of them lost £13,777 in seven hours.

The analysis found that the rule change means that increasing numbers of gamblers stay below the £50 limit to avoid to be identified at the counter. However, the campaign for Fairer Gambling found that there is a 90% increase in customers who wager between £40 and £50.

Bookies will continue to implement and develop measures to identify and help every person who has problems with gambling at their venues.