It was announced this morning that The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has agreed to cut the maximum permitted stake on controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2. Lincoln School of Psychology’s Dr Amanda Roberts has done extensive research into gambling and it’s effects and she was pleased with the news, although warns that other forms of gambling can also be problematic and should not be ignored.
“I am in agreement with the proposed changes:
We (myself and Stephen Sharman) were part of the DCMS consultation on FOBT’s. Working in partnership with one of the UK’s leading gambling treatment providers (the Gordon Moody Association) allowed us to quantify the variation in disordered gamblers behaviour patterns over the last 10 years.
The key findings from this work were that the forms of gambling identified as problematic by those entering treatment has changed over time, driven primarily by increases in those identifying FOBTs and other sports gambling as problem forms. This data did not directly inform the consultation on the potential impact on gambler behaviour or gambling related harm that a significant stake reduction would have, however we provided empirical support for the notion that FOBTs are the most commonly identified problem form amongst treatment seeking gamblers. Furthermore, our data highlighted that since they were introduced to the UK gambling environment, the proportion of treatment seeking gamblers identifying FOBTs as a problem form has increased more rapidly than any other form of gambling. However, we also noted that sports gambling, and the use of the internet to access all forms of gambling are also increasing, and should not be neglected in favour of focussing specifically on FOBTs.”
You can find out more about Dr Robert’s research here