A lawmaker has proposed to review fixed odds betting machines in the UK.
Swansea MP Carolyn Harris has said that fixed odds betting machines in sportsbook outlets are harmful and it should be assessed in terms of allocation. Harris also exclaimed that bettors are subject to lose thousands of money because of these rigged machines.
The UK government is now monitoring existing gambling operators. These electronic machines that are usually slot games have been lucrative for bookmarkers. Harris, the Swansea East MP who is the chairman of the parliamentary group has also mentioned that the machines are capable of taking £100 every 20 seconds, that’s £300 every minute.
How Did These Gaming Machines Proliferate?
These fixed odds betting terminals were released in betting outlets in the late ’90’s. Each betting outlet is only allowed to carry a maximum of 4 machines. Industry pundits have said that manufacturers have increased their production.
The number of terminals will service the sporadic rise of betting outlets. It is reported that these machines drained £1.7bn from British punters. What’s interesting though is that operators have set shop even in deprived areas which promoted how people think of bookmarkers now.
“We need to have a complete overhaul and review of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals and hopefully come up with a solution which, it’s not going to suit the bookies, but at least will help all the associated problems with these machines, including anti-social behaviour, money laundering, and violence.” Says, Ms. Harris.
Is It Really a Highly Regulated Industry?
The Association of British Bookmarkers (ABB) chief officer Malcolm George has said that bookmarking outlets are the most highly regulated industry on the high street. Bookmarking personnel who handle floor operations are trained to assist customers that are encountering gambling problems especially for punters who visit the shop daily.
“I think betting shops are probably the safest environment in which you can gamble. I think if you look at the range of measures we have on our machines as opposed to, say, those in amusement arcades or casinos, they really are very effective and allow us to identify and spot people who can be getting into trouble with their gambling.” Said, Mr. George.
Scrutinization of Gaming Machines is Underway
Recent reports have cited that UK Government is announcing an assessment of the machines. The ABB has welcomed the review of the gaming machines. George and the ABB are anticipating an evidence-based dialogue regarding this issue.
“It’s very easy for the anti-gambling lobby to make really quite strong false claims about the industry. These machines have been in shops for fifteen years, there have been reviews, and when the evidence is put in front of government, they come to the same conclusions: it’s absolutely right they should be there.” Exclaimed, George.
What do you think of the government meddling with the gambling industry? Should the government form an authorized body to impose regulations?