It looks like those outspoken and noisy people who have a long-term hatred of FOBT machines have finally had their dream come to, for the stakes on FOBT machines in the UK are to be reduced from a maximum stake of 100.00 to just 2.00.
There have been celebrations from gambling charities who didn’t believe that the UK gambling Commission would act on the advice of the Gambling Commission and reduce the stakes, but they went much further than the suggested 30.00 and dropped it down to just 2.00.
This stake change won’t come into effect until around 2020 though, for the gambling companies have amongst other things said that the software changes would need time to be developed, which as anyone know is nonsense, still it does give them more time to take as much money as they can do from players of those machines!
There is still the question though about online casinos, for people can play for way higher stakes than the FOBT machines ever offered when playing at an online casino site, however as many of them are based outside of the UK there is no way for the UK Gambling Commission or the UK Government to have any control over the stakes online casinos can offer their customers!
Why Are FOBT’s So Addictive?
In my honest opinion, FOBT’s are no more addictive than any other game you would find in an arcade or bookies, be that a claw machine at a family arcade, a local cricket clubs fruit machine offering the grand total of an 8.00 jackpot, or a casino or bookies games.
The only difference is the prizes on offer, the impulsiveness is still the same. You literally are in it to win it. It’s also common for a lot of big gamblers to not drink alcohol. We all have our vices, and where as some like to spend hours on end at the roulette table, others like to spend hours at the bar, but when the money is gone, it’s gone no matter which way you look at it.
A compulsive gambler will wager on anything and everything, from what a new celebrity baby is going to be called, to whether it will snow on Christmas Day in the Bahamas.
Limiting wagers, and ultimately top prizes will not deter compulsive gamblers from playing, it will just prolong their gaming session, like upping the cost of alcohol has seen a dramatic fall in drunks in public, because they now do it at home instead where they can drink themselves into a coma. Forcing people to wager no more than 2.00 a game is going to do nothing, except prolong the amount of time that person is sat at the terminal.
What we need to do is look at the problem gamblers, and ask ourselves, why are they doing it, not how can we stop it. Knowledge is power, and its common knowledge that those with a gambling problem usually have underlying issues which need addressing, not making the majority suffer because the minority have lost control.
Games Available on FOBTS
There are many other games you can play on FOBT’s other than just Roulette games but playing Roulette on those gaming machines did become a serious problem, with many gambling charities reporting some huge losses by people playing them.
There are slot machines and even blackjack games available on those machines and whilst it is probably not going to affect the amount of cash their slot machines on those gaming machines will earn when the stakes are reduced the amount of cash that will be generated from the Roulette games will be seriously affected in a negative way.
The betting industry has stated for a very long time that if stakes were reduced to just 2.00 per game, then they will have to close shops and lay off staff, whether that is a bluff or not does remain to be seen.
The one thing worth noting those is that whilst gamblers are not going to be able to play for high stakes when in a bookies shop playing FOBT’s they are going to be able to easily gamble for much higher stakes when logged into an online casino site.
So, one does wonder if the UK Government are going to take a look a somehow putting into place regulations as to how much you can gamble at an online casino, as it is going to be much more difficult for them to impose a reduction on stakes as most casino sites are based offshore and outside of UK jurisdiction!