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Fixed Odds Betting Terminals Defended By UK Government
Friday January 11,2013 : FOBTS DEFENDED BY UK GOVERNMENT
Political row brewing following claims that FOBT operators target poorer punters
With the political furore growing following the publication by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling of regionally detailed stats on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals wagering, the UK government's Culture Minister intervened Thursday, ruling out a crackdown on the machines.
Culture minister Hugh Robertson told Parliament that there was little evidence FOBTs caused serious problems despite Labour MPs calling the betting machines the "crack cocaine" of gambling and claiming that operators were targeting poorer areas.
He rejected the idea of creating new laws to restrict the machines or the betting shops where they are located.
Earlier this month the Association of British Bookmakers denied that poorer areas were being targeted, or that the machines were addictive.
The minister said he would only change the law if there was new and compelling evidence.
A recent Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee report recommended that local authorities should be able to allow bookmakers to operate more than the current limit of four high-stakes gambling machines per shop .
The Campaign for Fairer Gambling demanded the machines should be banned from betting shops on the High Street with immediate effect.
The organisation, backed by psychologist Professor Jim Orford, said they were too addictive and should be restricted to casinos only, or the stakes allowed radically reduced from GBP 100 to GBP 2.
The Minister said that the Responsible Gambling Trust was carrying out an investigation into the use of fruit machines and problem gambling.
But he said any new laws should be based on research, not anecdotal evidence.
"This is one of those quite tricky areas where common sense suggests there is a major problem but there is a lack of evidence to back this up," he said.
"I very much hope that the major research project that is being undertaken will give us the necessary evidence that we need and absolutely, once that is proved, the government will act."
Culture committee chairman John Whittingdale said he "shared the concerns" about the machines and there was a "desperate need" for more research.
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
Fair Play Bets and QuickFire in Deal -
Fair Play Bets enjoys an unrivalled reputation for an outstanding player experience, with secure deposits and withdrawals, surprising casino bonuses and committed customer support. Fair Play Bets is licensed in UK, Malta and Curacao.
Cavaliers Aim to Take Down Wizards on 2/22/18 -
The Cleveland Cavaliers have looked like a different team since making their moves at the trade deadline. The Washington Wizards are up next for the Cavaliers, who will be at home after the All-Star break.
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