William Hill Fined £6.2m by Gambling Commission – Response from Carolyn Harris MP, Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group – Tuesday 20 February 2018
Betting firm William Hill has been hit with a £6.2m penalty package for breaching anti-money-laundering and social responsibility regulations. The penalty is the second biggest imposed by the Gambling Commission.
Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East and Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group, comments:
“I was deeply concerned to hear to hear that the betting firm William Hill has been fined £6.2m for breaching anti-money-laundering and social responsibility regulations.
These are very serious breeches which the Gambling Commission indicate demonstrate systemic problems at the company.
William Hill, along with the wider gambling industry must take their responsibilities in terms of dealing with money laundering and problem gambling seriously.
The Government can also act decisively to minimise risks through reducing the stake on FOBTs to £2 with immediate effect.”
Notes to Editors
Carolyn Harris MP is the Member of Parliament for Swansea East. She is the Chair of the All Party Group on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, a Group she founded in 2016.
The FOBT APPG has undertaken two inquiries into FOBTs and written to the Prime Minster imploring her to act on these machines.
In response to stories in the media that the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) is set to be cut to £2, Carolyn Harris MP has commented:
“I very much welcome reports in the press today that the Government looks set to finally see sense and reduce the stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals to £2.
This is something that I have personally championed, along with others in Parliament, for over two and a half years.
The Government has for far too long ignored the many harms being caused by these machines.
A reduction in the stake to £2 would not just be a victory for common sense. It would be a victory for the thousands of people whose lives are blighted daily by these toxic machines.
With over 25 of my colleagues in Parliament, faith groups, local government and community groups, I have written to the Prime Minister demanding action. We say that the Government must not waver in helping the vulnerable. It must not row back on its commitment to take action on FOBTs. It must not bend to the power of the bookmaker lobby. The health and wellbeing of our country is at issue. The Government must reduce the stake on FOBTs to £2 and do so immediately.”
Notes to Editors
1. Carolyn Harris MP is the Member of Parliament for Swansea East. She is the Chair of the All Party Group on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, a Group she founded in 2016.
2. The FOBT APPG has undertaken two inquiries into FOBTs and written to the Prime Minster imploring her to act on these machines.
3. For further inquiries please contact the secretariat of the Group Katherine.Morgan@interelgroup.com 07973 884797
If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact the Group Secretariat.
Carolyn Harris MP welcomes new report from the Cebr on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals
“I welcome the Centre for Economics and Business Research’s (Cebr) thorough, timely and important research into Fixed Odds Betting Terminals which sets out a clear rationale for reducing the stake on to £2.
I am concerned about the impact these harmful machines are having on people’s lives and this report shows the financial benefits to the whole of society from reducing the stake. In particular, it sets out that the benefits of stake reduction will be felt most by those lower down the income scale.
The report also shows that if the stake is reduced to £2 there will be significant reductions in problem gambling which is costing the government £210m annually and stake reduction will deliver an overall net benefit to the economy.
The research indicates that the government has also significantly over estimated the potential losses to bookmakers if stakes are reduced. These could be up to 47% lower.
The Government must act now take decisive action to deal with FOBTs and reduce the stake to £2.”
Carolyn Harris MP
Chair – Fixed Odds Betting Terminals APPG
RGSB responds to APPG’s questions
The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board has responded to a letter sent by FOBT APPG Chair Carolyn Harris MP regarding the organisation’s advice on the precautionary principle and the impact of FOBT machines, given to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as part of its consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures.
In response the RGSB has also provided their analysis of the impact of gaming stakes on problem gambling levels.