Ministers have announced plans that could see fruit machine jackpots soar from £4k to a staggering £15,000.
The proposed new system was revealed in a recent consultation on the monetary restrictions on stakes and the limits imposed on gaming machines in Britain.
They also unveiled a proposal to increase the minimum stake from £2.00 to £5.00 on video fruit slot machines in casinos. Members’ only and Conservative clubs will see a rise in fruit machine payouts from the current limit of £250 to a maximum of £400. In pubs and bars, the maximum payout will increase to £100 from the previous limit of £70.
The proposals come after ministers decided that the current prizes and wagering levels available on fruit machines in casinos are inconsistent when compared with other similar gambling products on offer. At present, the machines provide the same product as table games but the latter have no restrictions on stake and prize payouts, which is an anomaly that this proposed change will address.
Ministers have said that these changes will depend on how far the gaming industry is willing to trial other ‘harm mitigation measures’. Government ministers did however reject a recommendation from MP’s to ease current restrictions, which limits the number of betting terminals offering fixed odds in high street betting shops.
The terminals have been met with criticism for allowing punters to lose a substantial amount of money in a relatively short space of time. A pop-up warning has been recommended that will remind people of how long they have been playing at the terminal and how much they have staked.
Labour appealed to the Government to establish new procedures to allow communities to prevent betting shops opening in high streets. They said that the Government had not tackled the issue of betting shops gathering in deprived areas and that local people should have the power to block the shops if they don’t want them.