17 May 2018
Following the decision to reform Fixed Odds Betting Terminal regulations, the DUP’s North Antrim MP Ian Paisley has challenged the Government to also consider new regulations for online gambling which has been identified as the number one problem for addiction.
Spokesman on Culture Media & Sport, Communities & Local Government and Energy & Climate Change.
Mr Paisley said,
“Fixed Odds Betting Terminals with ridiculously low odds of winning and capable of £100 per spin, are a plague on many families. It is sensible to lower the maximum stake.
The Government has a difficult balance to strike as many retail jobs and government revenue will be impacted by this decision.
However, this is the low hanging fruit. Online gambling addiction is the real problem. Whilst there is £400m annual tax generated through FOBTs, online tax revenues, in many cases, only benefit foreign governments. Whether watching sport, elections or even the day to day news in the United Kingdom people are bombarded with encouragement to gamble online. The name and gender of the most recent royal baby being a classic example. The Government must make efforts to address online gambling.
Northern Ireland will be exempt from today’s changes as this is a devolved matter but this is yet another consequence of Sinn Fein blocking devolved Government. Without an Assembly none of these reforms will apply to Northern Ireland.”