CODE OF PRACTICE GOVERNING THE SUPPLY AND
USE OF FIXED ODDS BETTING TERMINALS IN LICENSED BETTING OFFICES
This Code is a response to Government policy
on control and usage of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in
Licensed Betting Offices. It is intended to operate in conjunction
with the Good Practice and Social Responsibility Code for Betting
Offices recently agreed by ABB and GamCare, the charity that assists
ABB and its members wish to help create an environment
in which the public enjoy fair and responsible gambling. Accordingly,
ABB membership will, from 19 November 2003 be open only to bookmakers
who accept and operate according to the conditions laid out in
Section One of this Code and who obtain their FOBTs from approved
Section Two comprises a method of ensuring that
manufacturers/suppliers of FOBTs and the products they offer also
adhere to socially responsible procedures.
By requiring licensed betting offices to comply
with the conditions outlined in Section One and by establishing
a standard for operators and manufacturers/suppliers, this Code
will seek to ensure that access to the market is available only
to those who are prepared to be socially responsible.
To ensure adherence to this Code, ABB will appoint
a Compliance Committee, which will have responsibility for policing
the Code and for approving manufacturers/suppliers.
The Compliance Committee will have at least
four members; to include a lawyer, an independent technical expert,
a representative of an organisation that assists problem gamblers,
and a member of the ABB executive. Other members may be appointed
This Code will be reviewed on an annual basis
and, where necessary, will be amended to ensure its continued
2.1 Terminal Operation
A maximum of four machines (FOBTs
or a mix of FOBTs and AWPs) per LBO. This number not to include
the type of terminal used to accept traditional "over the
A maximum payout per single transaction
A maximum stake of £15 per bet
and £100 per transaction.
To prevent potential problem gamblers
from "chasing losses", the minimum cycle time between
customers inputting money, selecting their bet(s) and settlement
shall be not less than 30 seconds. When customers are betting
from their original stake or from accumulated winnings, the minimum
cycle time for this type of transaction will be not less than
No cash payouts directly from terminals.
All payouts to be made at the counter.
No credit, debit or smart card transactions
to be accepted on terminals.
Odds for each betting event to be
clearly displayed on all terminals.
An on-screen balance meter allowing
customers to track winnings/losses per session.
The ability for customers to "cash-in"
at any time following the completion of each betting event and
to set a limit on the time they play and on the amount they wish
to spend per session.
Point of sale promotional material
not to encourage excessive play.
All random number events to be organised
independently of the bookmaker.
Random number communication to be
independently audited by a third party.
ABB members to obtain FOBT/FOBT products only
from manufacturers and suppliers approved by the ABB Compliance
2.2 Terminal content
All FOBT content must comply with the following:
Clear help pages to be present on
all terminals, including contact information for GamCare and warnings
on excessive gambling. Access to help pages to be available at
all times by use of button/icon.
GamCare signage and leaflets provided
by the ABB Compliance Committee to be prominently displayed adjacent
Representations of casino games other
than roulette or numbers games are not permitted. A casino game
is defined as any game which is authorised under the Gaming Clubs
(Bankers' Games) regulations or is any derivative of such a game
or is promoted in such a way as the players may believe they are
participating in such a game.
The following bet process must be
Customers must make a positive selection.
Customers must choose a stake.
Odds must be clearly visible at time
Customer to select "start"
or "bet" button/icon.
Result to be announced/displayed
FOBT manufacturers/suppliers wishing
to supply LBOs must register with and be approved by the ABB Compliance
Committee (under the terms of Section One of this Code ABB members
will not be supplied by non-approved companies).
To be authorised to supply LBOs,
companies must state in writing that they accept and are prepared
to fully comply with the ABB Code.
In addition, manufacturers/suppliers
must undertake to:
Comply with all regulatory requirements
relating to the use of FOBTs.
Display prominently on help files any
notices that may be required by ABB.
Operate in a manner that will not bring
the betting industry or the ABB into disrepute.
Maintain strict security controls over
all FOBT hardware and software.
Ensure that number generation is entirely
random and that no third party access (including by bookmakers)
Ensure that all customers (betting office
operators) are adequately trained in the operation, maintenance
and control of machines as appropriate.
Establish that all employees of suppliers/manufacturers
are familiar with this Code and with the betting industry's commitment
to fair and responsible trading.
Supply FOBTs and/or similar products
only to bona-fide licensed bookmakers, according to the criteria
outlined in this Code.
Ensure that all betting events offered
on FOBTs comply with this Code and have been approved by ABB as
suitable for this purpose.