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The ‘Crack Cocaine’ of the gambling world is under fire once again. Fixed Odds betting terminals are once again the target from anti gambling charities. Claiming that being able to wager more than a typical months wage in less than an hour is not only harmful, but detrimental and causing great angst for gamblers up and down the country, the charities want yet tougher regulations in place for these machines.

However, when you look at the RTP of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, they are pretty standard. They offer upwards of 90% RTP’s, and are truly random with the exception of special bets made in their slot games where special reel sets can be used due to you paying a higher stake.

This doesn’t alter the fact however, that you can wager £100 every 20 seconds. That is an obscenely high amount of money to not even pee up the wall, and we do agree, that the limit should be lowered to a more modest fee.

When you go to a casino a bookies, or a simple amusement arcade, you are meant to only be playing for fun, and for the thrill of winning or losing, not trying to chase losses, and most certainly not trying to make a living out of the games. You should be playing with money you can afford to lose, and money that if you make a profit, is a welcome bonus.

Lots of proposals are being put forward to try and limit the stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, however it will be dependent on who wins the next election in the UK in regards to whether there are likely to be any changes of not!

In UK pubs and clubs, Fruit Machines are in their own category of gaming, which is AWP (Amusement with Prizes) with modest jackpots of up to £70, these games have RTP’s of under 80%, though it is common knowledge that some arcades will adjust this to be either higher or lower.

FOBT’s however don’t have that luxury, as they are pre programmed, and as such, the RTP’s of individual games can’t be changed. Not only would it be illegal and infringement on the copyright of the games developer to mess around with the coding, it would fall foul of the Gambling laws of the UK, even if you made the game payout 100%.

Gambling is meant to be a leisure activity, something you can do to kill some time, or play at your own leisure, similar to playing a video game, however, the issue with FOBT’s, is that you can get so engrossed you don’t realise just how fast you’re burning your bank roll up.

The terminals do recommend you set a limit, and they also recommend that you collect wins over a certain amount, but this is something the player can simply say no to.

To gamble, you have to be an adult, and unfortunately, being an adult means you have to accept your responsibilities, so it’s not the FOBT’s fault, nor is it the developers, it’s the gamblers fault for playing with money they can’t lose. Though, it wouldn’t hurt for the designers of these machines to release a patch that limits wagers to a more modest amount.

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Sara O'Connell
A passionate photographer from Arizona, Sara enjoys art and culture.