FOBTs and advertising under the microscope again.
Despite the conclusions of a recent investigation, the British government has yielded to media and action group pressure demanding another study of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in retail betting shops, and the proliferation of gambling advertisements.
Announcing the new enquiry on Monday, the minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage , Tracey Crouch, confirmed speculation last month that the review would be carried out by her Department of Culture, Media and Sport and would include FOBTs and gambling advertising, with a deadline for submissions of December 4 this year.
The remit of the review includes an assessment of the impact of gambling advertisements and whether there is sufficient regulatory protection for those vulnerable to problem gambling and minors, again confirming Septembers speculation that there could be a ban relegating all gambling advertisements to the post-9pm time slot.
At present bingo ads and those associated with sports during the course of live events are permitted before the 9pm watershed.
Sarah Harrison, CEO of the Gambling Commission, was quick to record her support for the review, opining that it was an excellent opportunity for interested parties to make their voices heard. The Commission, she said, would be providing its perspective, based on the opinions of its expert advisors and the input of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board. This contribution would be made public once it had been submitted, she said..
Malcolm George, chief executive of the Association of British Bookmakers, said the Association welcomed the opportunity to participate in an evidenced-based review and confirmed that his organization would be providing detailed facts and evidence relevant to the issues.