‘Ter­mi­nals and gam­bling on­line most prob­lem­atic’

Western Mail - - NEWS - Mar­cus Hughes

FIXED-ODDS bet­ting ter­mi­nals and on­line sports bet­ting are the most ad­dic­tive types of gam­bling, a new study has claimed.

A re­port by the Univer­sity of South Wales (USW), pub­lished today, re­vealed that fixed-odds bet­ting ter­mi­nals (FOBTs) and on­line sports bet­ting con­trib­ute to 80% of the risk of im­paired gam­bling con­trol.

Univer­sity aca­demics say the sur­vey, which re­ceived 248 re­sponses from across Wales, re­veals the clear neg­a­tive im­pact gam­bling can have, of­ten lead­ing to fam­ily break­down and poverty.

It comes as fig­ures show Bri­tish gam­blers lost a to­tal of £1.7 bil­lion on the ma­chines in 2015 and 11.5% of all users are se­ri­ous gam­bling ad­dicts.

The con­cerns have led to the gov­ern­ment launch­ing a con­sul­ta­tion that aims to re­duce the risk of peo­ple suf­fer­ing large losses.

Peo­ple can bet up to £100 ev­ery 20 sec­onds on elec­tronic casino games, but min­is­ters are con­sid­er­ing a new limit some­where be­tween £2 and that prob­lem gam­bling is a grow­ing is­sue, but that it re­mains chron­i­cally un­der-re­ported.

“This re­port shows that peo­ple of­ten gam­ble alone, on­line and use it as a cop­ing strat­egy for other is­sues. This toxic mix can of­ten lead a per­son into ad­dic­tive be­hav­iour, un­known to their loved ones.”

The UK gov­ern­ment’s con­sul­ta­tion on gam­bling states: “We are aware that the fac­tors which in­flu­ence the ex­tent of harm to the player are wider than one prod­uct, or a lim­ited set of pa­ram­e­ters such as stakes and prizes,.

“We are there­fore also con­sult­ing on cor­re­spond­ing so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity mea­sures across gam­ing ma­chines that en­able high rates of loss, on player pro­tec­tions in the on­line sec­tor, on a pack­age of mea­sures on gam­bling ad­ver­tis­ing and on cur­rent ar­range­ments for the de­liv­ery of re­search, ed­u­ca­tion and treat­ment (RET).

“We want to see in­dus­try, reg­u­la­tor and char­i­ties con­tinue to drive the so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity agenda.”

> The All-Party Par­lia­men­tary Group (APPG) on FOBTs has pro­posed that the max­i­mum amount a punter can stake on a sin­gle spin should be re­duced to £2

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