The maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals could drop to as little as £2 under a government review. The consultation aims to reduce the risk of people suffering large losses and to tighten up advertising rules.
Fixed-odds terminals were introduced in casinos and betting shops from 1999, and offer computerised games including roulette and blackjack at the touch of a button. Currently, people can bet up to £100 on electronic casino games, but ministers are considering a new limit somewhere between £2 and £50.
The government is consulting on 11 different types of gaming machine, with stakes ranging from 30p to £5. Each machine accepts bets up to a pre-set maximum and pays out according to fixed odds on the simulated outcomes of games.
As part of the government review:
- The Gambling Commission will consult on changes to protect online players.
- Broadcasters, advertisers, industry and support groups will draw up an advertising campaign to promote responsible gambling, with an annual budget of up to £7m.
- New advertising guidelines will be drafted to protect problem gamblers, children and young people.
- Access by under-18s to gambling content and channels on social media will be restricted.
- Gambling companies are being told to step up funding for research, education and treatment. If they don’t, operators may face a levy.
How will these changes affect your fruit machines?
Will these changes result in more people turning to fruit and digital gaming machines in pubs and clubs? Possibly. A campaign for responsible gambling would highlight the variety of machines available outside the betting shop, encouraging those who like to gamble to do so responsibly, in a safe environment.
Category C and B4 fruit machines, like the kind you’d find in a pub or club supplied by TVC Leisure, represent a safe means of gambling.
The stakes are lower, so it’s harder to lose so much money quickly. Plus, the latest fruit machines include new features and twists to keep players engaged. As a valuable revenue source for pubs and clubs throughout the UK, it is important to reinforce responsible gambling as much as responsible drinking.