Bookmakers Paddy Power and William Hill today have announced that they will follow the example led by Ladbrokes and reduce the stake for all FOBT’s ( Fixed Odds Betting Terminal ) from 1st April 2019.
Legislation was passed last year, reducing the FOBT Maximum Stake from £100 to £2, which at the end of last year was confirmed to come into force in England Scotland and Wales on 1st April 2019.
With gaming in Northern Ireland being regulated by the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, the province does not fall under the UK’s 2005 Gambling Act of which the FOBT maximum stake of £2 applies.
The move by Paddy Power and William Hill, follows the decision by Ladbrokes Coral, who in November 2018 decided to make the same change to the FOBT Maximum Stake limit to mirror the rest of the UK. It also comes after Belfast City Councillor John Kyle had led a motion, calling all bookmakers to voluntarily reduce the stakes on fixed odds betting terminals.
Speaking to BelfastLive.co.uk, Kyle said: “Two weeks ago I brought a motion to Belfast City Council, highlighting the lack of provision and support there is for people with problem gambling or gambling addiction and also pointing out the particular difficulty there is with fixed odd betting terminals.
“These terminals are particularly addictive. However, in England, Scotland and Wales from April 1, the maximum stake on a fixed odd betting terminal is being reduced from £100 to £2.”
“That means it therefore remains for Sean Graham, McLean and Toals to follow suit. I would like them to show social responsibility and follow the example of Ladbrokes, William Hill and Paddy Power and voluntarily reduced the maximum stake from £100 to £2. That would be a really responsible move and it would reduce significantly the damage that gambling addiction can do to individuals, families and communities.”
“This makes a huge difference, it largely eliminates the addictive element to fixed odd betting terminals.”
“I am delighted to say that in Northern Ireland Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill have now also said that they will reduce the maximum stake from £100 to £2 here in Northern Ireland.”