Sunday the 7th of March

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

New betting rules must protect the most vulnerable

A Christian advocacy group is urging the Government to put the most vulnerable at the heart of a review into the maximum stake for Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

Their call came as the Gambling Commission was criticised for failing to adopt a maximum stake of £2, instead recommending that the stake limit for FOBT non-slot games, including roulette, should be set at £30.

“While this is a move in the right direction, CARE still has serious concerns over the proposed amount being £30, instead of the £2 that has been suggested,” Chris Buttenshaw, senior policy officer at Christian Action Research & Education (CARE) told The Universe.

High-stake, high-speed electronic casino games are said to be dangerously addictive and currently allow a stake of up to £100 every 20 seconds, enabling a player to theoretically gamble away £18,000 an hour.

Many are in betting shops in deprived areas.

“It is up to the Government to make the final call,” Mr Buttenshaw said, as he issued a warning concerning the Gambling Commission’s recommendation, “but CARE urges the Government to put the most vulnerable – problem gamblers, their families and communities – at the heart of their vital reforms and legislate for the maximum stake to be £2 on Fixed Odds Betting Machines.”

Picture: File photo dated 12/01/13 of a someone using a gambling machine. (Daniel Hambury/PA).