The British Government has announced that they would enforce a new law through a secondary legislation that would see the maximum stake of FOBT machines reduced to a mere £2 to fight for those who are most vulnerable.
Government Announce FOBT Stakes To Be Reduced From £100 To £2
On top of this measure, new ones will also be introduced, such as stronger age verification rules or more advertising promoting responsible betting and gambling. Remote Gaming Duty- a tax that must be paid if bookmakers offer betting services over the Internet, betting shop or spread betting- will see an increase to take care of the impact these new regulations could cause.
Another point of impact for bookies is their share value, with big names such as William Hill or Ladbrokes’ price dropping 7.8% & 6.4%, respectively. The Association of British Bookmakers said that the decision would have “far-reaching implications”, putting thousands of shops at the risk of closing down. Moreover, they claim it could lead to a massive 21,000 loss in jobs. However, those shops that do survive will provide a safe place to gamble and continue boosting support for British sport.
Tracey Crouch, Sports minister, said that the reduction in the FOBT stakes can help stop extreme losses by those who can’t afford it, and that problem gambling causes devastation on people’s lives, families & communities. Despite this, she claims that they want gambling to contribute to the economy, but that it must be a healthy industry in order to protect the players by ensuring tighter rules are enforced on advertising, doing more research and educating on gambling.
The Culture minister Matt Hancock assured that they were working together with the British Horseracing Authority but that the industry shouldn’t be financed on the misery of those who lose so much to FOBTs. The BHA has welcomed the government’s announcement and that they would both work closely together to review the lev and try and reduce it to the money that goes back into the sport.
The government originally launched their inquiry back in October 2016, but political issues delayed the review until last autumn, when they set out a number of option to reduce the maximum betting stake, finally settling on £2.