FOBT machines in bookmaker

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will recommend that the government set betting limits on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT’s) to £30 or lower. The amount, equivalent to €34 or $42, is what they propose is the maximum stake that can be made on a roulette game per spin. The current level is £100 per spin, which can be lost in the space of 20 seconds.

The announcement this morning was a blow to campaigners, who have nicknamed FOBT’s as the ‘crack cocaine’ of the gambling world. They were hopeful that the recommendation made by the UKGC would be set at £2 per spin.

As part of the proposals put forward, The UKGC will also recommend that slot machine limits are set to £2 per spin and that players sessions are tracked to spot potentially vulnerable players.

Investors are understood to be pleased with the announcement, with shares in William Hill rising by 4% this morning when the markets opened. It will be up to the government to decide what the limits are, however the Treasury currently generate £700m per year through machine gaming duty from FOBT’s.