News Government proposes reduced FOBT stakes between £50 and £2

DCMS launches consultation on changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures

"In October 2016 the Government commenced a review of gaming machines and social responsibility measures applied to protect players and communities from gambling related harm.  

The review sought evidence-based proposals on:

  • Maximum stakes and prizes for all categories of gaming machines permitted under the Gambling Act 2005;
  • Allocation of gaming machines permitted in all licensed premises under the Gambling Act 2005; and
  • Social responsibility measures for the industry as a whole to minimise the risk of gambling-related harm, including on gambling advertising, online gambling, gaming machines and research, education and treatment.

A total of 275 responses were received including comments from stakeholders, Local Authorities, charities and members of the public.   Published responses can be found here.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) stated that the aim of the review was to ensure that legislation ‘strikes the right balance between a sector that can grow and contribute to the economy, while also ensuring it is socially responsible and doing all it should to protect consumers and communities, including those who are just about managing’.

Following the call for evidence, the DCMS has today published its long awaited consultation on its proposals which include:

1. Regulatory changes to the maximum stake permitted on category B2 gaming machines (FOBTs), considering options between £50 and £2, in order to reduce the potential for large session losses and potentially harmful impacts on players and their wider communities:

2. Retention of the current regulatory environment for the remaining stakes and prizes, permitted numbers and allocations across other categories of gaming  machines (B1, B3, B3A, B4, C and D): and

3. Social responsibility measures across gaming machines that enable high rates of loss,  player protections in the online sector, and a package of measures on gambling advertising and on current arrangements for the delivery of research, education and treatment.

The consultation period will run for 12 weeks from the 31st October 2017 until the 23rd January 2018.

The complete consultation can be found here and further details on how to respond can be obtained through the Gov.uk website."

For further information on this issue of any other gambling related legal issue contact Licensing Solicitor Richard Bradley on 0115 953 8500.