Island MP Bob Seely today welcomed a Government decision to slash the maximum stake on fixed odds betting machines from £100 to £2.
Bob, who has campaigned for stakes to be substantially lowered, said the move would help vulnerable people on the Isle of Wight who have spent millions on the machines dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’.
“I’m absolutely delighted the Government has taken a stand on the FOBT issue and done the right thing to protect vulnerable people,” said Bob.
“It is the responsible thing to do and limit the incredible losses these machines can rack up to those who play them.
“I am pleased the Government also went much further than the Gambling Commission’s recommendation of a £30 limit.
“On top of this, I welcome the toughening up of rules for online gambling with stronger age verification rules, plus proposals requiring operators to set spending limits until affordability checks have been conducted.
“All these measures will protect vulnerable people and limit their ability to become problem gamblers – something that causes misery for them and their loved ones.”
Bob said FOBTs had taken more than £19 million from the Island’s economy since 2008, often targeting the poorer in society.
There are believed to be around 55 FOBTs on the Island.