For immediate release:
FIXED-ODDS BETTING TERMINAL MAXIMUM STAKE COMES INTO FORCE
Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has welcomed the news that the new maximum £2 stake on fixed-odds betting terminals has come into force, and congratulated the Rutherglen Reformer for our coverage of local problems associated with the machines.
From April 1st, the maximum punters can bet on the machines has been slashed from £100 to £2. Before the changes, the machines, often dubbed the crack cocaine of gambling, allowed players to stake up to £500 per minute on computer versions of games including poker, roulette, and blackjack.
A study undertaken by the British Amusement Catering Trade Association, found fixed-odds betting terminals were costing South Lanarkshire £10.1 million a year in lost money, health expenses, and job problems associated with addiction to the terminals.
As we reported in September 2017, people across South Lanarkshire spent £13 million on the machines in the 2015/16 financial year alone.
The UK Government has introduced the changes – after massive pressure from the public and politicians – through their Finance Bill 2018 which came into force on April 1st.
Commenting, Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey said:
“I am delighted that the UK Government has finally brought forward a £2 cap on fixed-odds betting terminals. Undoubtedly, this is a move which will save lives.
“There has been far too much social harm caused by the machines with individuals being plunged into huge financial difficulties because of them. Our gambling industry has a duty to be socially responsible, and this has certainly not been the case when they are allowing their customers to lose hundreds of pounds in minutes on the machines.”
The local MSP also paid tribute to the work of the Rutherglen Reformer as we have been covering the harm caused locally by fixed-odds betting terminals over the last three years.
“I congratulate all campaigners and politicians who forced this change, including the work of the Rutherglen Reformer who have repeatedly highlighted local problems caused by the machines.
“Thankfully, our pressure has paid off for the benefit of people across Rutherglen, Cambuslang, and throughout the UK.”
Below is a photograph of Clare Haughey MSP supporting the maximum £2 stake – taken March 2018.
Information regarding the date the cap comes into force (April 1st) can be found below:
Further information regarding the British Amusement Catering Trade Association can be read here (behind pay wall):
Rutherglen Reformer article on the £13 million spend on the machines can be found on the link below:
Rutherglen Reformer article of 2016 can be found below – Note: it references within the article that the Rutherglen Reformer undertook its own research in February 2016 into fixed-odds betting terminals)
Date published: 27th March 2019