Fixed – Odds betting terminals (FOBT) dubbed “the crack cocaine of gambling” by campaigners are under review by the UK government, which could potentially hit the British bookmaker’s revenue very hard.
The pending crackdown is expected to be completed next month and is looking into the controversial fixed odds betting machines, where currently every 20 seconds, customers can wager up to £100.
There has been an ongoing issue between FOBTs opponents and Gambling industry stakeholders regarding the large amounts of money that can be wagered in such sort time frames; the main concern being the risk they pose to vulnerable people and their addictive nature.
Gross gambling revenue from the betting machines from October 2015-September 2016 reporting period totalled £1.8 billion, making FOBTs the UK bookmaker’s largest retail revenue generator.
Popular games such as roulette and blackjack are located in betting shops around the nation allowing players to wager on the outcome – 34,388 is the average number of FOBT’s in the above time period. The biggest FOBT and operators in the UK are set to suffer huge revenue losses if there is a change in legislation.
One of the leading operators could lose up to £450 million in revenue in 2018 and another expected to lose more than £280 million if the maximum stake is reduced to £2, according to British financial services firm, Barclays. These are huge losses even for the big operators and would make a large dent in profits.
The gambling industry waits with baited breath for results from the UK review, which is expected in October.
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