Former bookmaker backs curb on FOBTsGambling
The former Chairman of Paddy Power, one of the UK’s largest bookmakers has backed calls for the maximum stake on Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to be reduced.
Writing in The Times today, Fintan Drury accused the government of turning a blind eye to the fact people can lose £18,000 in one hour on FOBTs because of the absurdly high maximum stake.
Calling for major reform, he suggested FOBTs should “blast” out a warning message and that this, “plus reducing the maximum play from the completely irresponsible £100 to £2 as this paper has suggested, or even £10, could address the blight of FOBTs.”
He said the corporate world could not divorce itself from society’s needs: “It also made me realise that the corporate world cannot be divorced from society’s needs. This may seem obvious but industries such as gambling, which pose a risk to the welfare of customers, often fail to put people’s wellbeing ahead of profits.”
The former non-executive director at Paddy Power also said he thought that at the heart of the gambling sector “there is a troubling partnership between government and industry.”
Mr Drury called on the gambling industry to stand up and take action: “The industry needs all its leaders to stand up, be counted and take what might appear to be significant business risks to stop the slide into a form of gambling that is an unconscionable means of profiteering. Then government could not ignore its equal responsibility to act.”
The Gambling Bill in the House of Lords will receive its Second Reading tomorrow and CARE is backing this historic attempt to introduce legislation that would reduce the maximum stake on FOBTs from £100 to just £2.
Lord Clement-Jones, the Lib Dem Peer who tabled the bill was recently interviewed by Christian Today and you can read what he had to say, alongside some thoughts from CARE’s Chief Executive here.