Research shows that Scottish slots players lose over £150 million annually on a new form of high stakes gaming.
The study reveals that this amount has cost the country more than 18,000 jobs within the last 8 years. And as we’ll cover later, this has outraged certain groups.
Research consultancy Landman Economics determined that £3.7 billion was wagered in Scotland. And players lost almost 50% of this, dropping £170 million.
The biggest controversy of all is that these machines let players bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on slot machines, video blackjack, roulette, and poker.
Here are further findings from the study:
– There are 171,695 Scottish slots players, and they each lost an average of £6,745 over the 8 years.
– This breaks down to £843 annually for each player.
– 40% of the losses are from Scotland’s 37,600 problem gamers.
– These players each lost £12,300 total over the 8-year period.
Matt Zarb-Cousin, spokesman the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, is angered over how much players have lost on the high stakes machines.
“These figures reveal the shocking scale of the havoc [fixed odds terminals] are causing on Britain’s high streets,” said Zarb-Cousin.
“The bizarre experiment to allow high stakes casino gambling in betting shops has failed. Enough is enough. It is time for all political parties to commit to reducing the maximum stake on these machines to £2 a spin.”
The Fairer Gambling group also points to the 18,000 lost jobs as reason why slots bets could be better spent elsewhere.
New Law Allows for High Stakes Slot Machines
The Scotland Act of 2016 allows Scottish government officials to approve higher betting limits in new gambling shops.
It’s unclear whether this will play into next month’s general elections. But certain interests are using this issue as a political agenda.
However, given that these same machines are likely pulling in lots of tax revenue, it’s hard to see them going anywhere.