4% of Brits oppose banning Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

James StarkieBusiness Development Consultant
June 06, 2014, 4:13 PM UTC

Only 4% of the British public would oppose banning Fixed Odds Betting Terminals a new YouGov survey has found

A new YouGov survey has found only 4% of the British public would oppose an outight ban on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT’s), while of those who gamble once a month or more over half (58%) would also support a ban. However, gambling ranks low when the electorate are asked what issues are important when voting at next election with just 1% of respondents selecting gambling.

While voters would support further regulation of the gambling industry it’s not as high on their priorities as energy and banking where more than half would like to see action taken and the gambling industry’s view that it’s an easy target despite contributing £2.3billion to the UK economy rings true based on these results given so few rate it as an election priority.

The results come a month after the Government moved to restrict the maximum stake per play to £50 and increase planning powers for local authorities to scrutinise new applications for betting shops on Britain’s high streets where previously the gambling industry had not had to apply as they were in the same category as banks.

Speaking to the BBC, Labour’s shadow sport minister Clive Efford at the time described the new limit as a ‘sham’ saying that only 7% of plays on the machines were above £50.

The same poll found that 81% of the general public would also support less betting shops on the high street and 77% a ban of betting companies advertisements. This month Ladbrokes launched what it claims is the UK’s first responsible gambling TV campaign in the run up to the 2014 World Cup, where some predict that up to £1billion in bets could be placed over the tournament, William Hill alone expects a betting turnover of around £200million. A report by Deloitte for the Association of British Bookmakers highlights the £2.3billion contribution to the UK economy and the ABB Chairman feels the industry is a ‘soft target’ for the Treasury.

Labour MP Tom Watson has led the campaign against FOBT’s in parliament and feels Labour ‘dropped the ball’ when in government and was quoted in the Daily Mail saying 'Frankly we [Labour] should never really have licensed these machines in the way we did in 2005 and we should put the matter right as quickly as possible.’ YouGov research shows that support for a ban would find favour with potential voters for all major parties, including potential UKIP voters, and very little opposition. 

See the full poll results on Gambling and Issues

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