Monday, 28 May, 2018

Bookies brace for big hit as Government caps FOBT stakes at £2

Bookies brace for big hit as Government caps FOBT stakes at £2 Ministers vow to 'protect the vulnerable' by slashing maximum stake on 'crack cocaine' gambling machines from £100 to £2
Kenny Thornton | 17 May, 2018, 14:04

Following analysis of consultation responses and advice from the Gambling Commission, the government said it believes a cut to £2 will best achieve this.

The age limit for playing National Lottery games will also be reviewed as part of the next licence competition, with the government saying it was needed to take into account "developments in the market and the risk of harm to young people".

The UK government has today (Thursday) confirmed that the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) will be cut to £2 (€2.29/$2.71), with Remote Gaming Duty raised to fill the resulting hole in the pubic finances.

Responding to the changes, Philip Bowcock, chief executive of William Hill, said: "The government has handed us a tough challenge today and it will take some time for the full impact to be understood, for our business, the wider high street and key partners like horseracing".

Ladbrokes Coral, bought by GVC for close to 4 billion pounds late previous year, operates close to 3,500 high street betting shops across the United Kingdom, employing over 25,000 people.

The decision goes further than the recommendations of a review carried out by the gambling regulator earlier this year, which recommended the maximum stake for FOBTs should be set at or below £30.

But the machines are blamed for addiction, crime, debt, violence and family breakdown and their users are concentrated in some of the poorest communities.

"There's a reason why Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are known as the "crack cocaine" of gambling - with stories of addicts losing up to £16,000 in a day".

The Crew 2 beta features the entire open world, sign-ups now live
The Crew 2 was announced during an earning's call.in May 2017 and will again feature a scaled down map of the United States. It looks to be as much about the experimentation of using all four vehicle types as it is about the designed races.

However, the announcement was widely welcomed by charities, the church and opposition politicians.

"I welcome the fact that the Government has now agreed that the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals should be reduced to £2".

Bookmakers have previously claimed moves to slash the maximum stake on FOBTs would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in the industry.

Miss Crouch said: "Problem gambling can devastate individuals' lives, families and communities".

The ABB said a report which paved the way for the new £2 rules was "deeply flawed" and had been funded by commercial rivals of Britain's bookmakers.

The government said the Gambling Commission would also toughen up protections around online gambling such as stronger age verification rules and proposals that require operators to set limits on gamblers' spending until affordability checks have been conducted.

Mick Antoniw, Labour AM for Pontypridd and chairman of the Welsh Assembly's cross-party group on problem gambling, said it was a "landmark decision" but "only a first step".

A major multi-million pound advertising campaign promoting responsible gambling, supported by industry and GambleAware, will be launched later this year.

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