FOBTs or Fixed Odds Betting Terminals have had a lot of bad press since their release in 2001. They are known the crack cocaine of gambling.
FOBTs have multiple games in them but its the 20p roulette game that most people play, hence why they are more commonly known as roulette machines. Depending on where you play online these can be better or worse than online roulette.
As these roulette machines are in the high street they are under greater regulation than the online casinos. You can only bet £100 every 20 seconds and have a max payout of £500. £100 every 20 seconds is a lot but online, you can bet £15,000 on a single spin. There can only be 4 machines per bookmaker (hence why you get several bookies in a row, just to get more FOBTs in).
These machines are very lucrative for the bookies. They represent typically half the profit from a betting shop. With many horse and football betting punters going online the FOBTs are the only thing keeping many betting shops open.
These machines have been known to ruin lives. Here are a selection of stories that should make you weary about playing FOBTs or online roulette.
- ‘Gaming machines cost me £250,000 and ruined my life’: Cost of the high profit games boosting bookmakers’ profits
- The machines that ate my life. Forget super-casinos: worry about the brash “virtual roulette” in the high street
Read more: http://www.newstatesman.com/200502210022
- Revealed: The £46bn cost of Britain’s roulette machine addiction… and Labour made a mistake allowing ‘casinos’ to flourish, admits Harman
- The Pernicious Gambling Machines Ruining the Lives of Our Society’s Poorest