Gambling Commission reaction to Government machine review

The Gambling Commission has published its reaction to the Government response to the consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, as part of which the Government has decided that it will reduce the maximum stake on an FOBT [B2 gaming machine] from £100 to £2.

Two months ago (on 19 March 2018) the Commission recommended that the stake limit for FOBT non-slot games (including roulette) should be set “at or below £30”.

In its website posting (that can be downloaded below), the Commission says:

“In March the Gambling Commission published its advice to Government – advice aimed at reducing the risks that consumers, especially those that are vulnerable, face from gambling. Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur said:

“We’re pleased Government has supported a comprehensive package of measures to protect consumers, and that this includes a substantial stake cut. Whilst we welcome the reduced stake, that alone will not be enough to address the risks of harm that can come from all forms of gambling. That is why we will continue to act in other ways to reduce those risks– including delivering enhanced consumer protection for online gambling in the areas of customer verification, fairness and interaction, implementing strong penalties for businesses who breach advertising guidelines, and reviewing gambling product characteristics to identify whether particular features pose greater risk of harm than others. We are particularly pleased that Government has formally recognised gambling related harm as a public health issue and has asked Public Health England to conduct an evidence review to inform action on prevention and treatment. This marks an important step forward in understanding the wider harms that problem gambling can have in our communities. It should not be forgotten that tackling gambling-related harm is a complex issue, so we will support the Government in monitoring the impact that any of the changes announced today will have.”