Bob comments on Government's recommendations on FOBTs

Island MP Bob Seely has said the Gambling Commission’s recommendation to limit fixed odds betting machine stakes to £30 was ‘a good start’ but he will lobby the Government to lower it further.

Bob said he would prefer stakes to be £2 to stop people blowing huge sums of money in a short space of time on the machines dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’.

“This recommendation is a good start and I accept it is a big improvement on the £100 limit that is presently available to gamblers on the Island and across the country,” said Bob.

“However, a £30 limit still leaves a huge scope for people to lose a lot of money and this is a big concern to me because these machines are incredibly addictive and they are damaging lives on the Island.

“The Government has still to decide to accept the Commission’s recommendations and I will be writing to the government asking it to consider an even lower stake.”

Bob said the industry had taken more than £19 million from the Island’s economy since 2008, often targeting the poorer in society and he has previously said the gambling industry was “irresponsible and deeply selfish” in its attitude and itself “addicted” to the massive profits the machines make.

There are believed to be around 55 FOBTs on the Island.