It isn’t going to be very long now until the new maximum stake limits on FOBT’s (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals) are reduced down to just £2 per game played off, and that reduction from £100 is going to hit bookies hard.
In fact, one of the leading betting companies in the UK have just announced that due to those stake reductions they are making plans to close as many as 900 betting shops and lay off some 4,500 staff.
Whist those that are opposed to gambling, and those gaming machines especially, will be rejoicing in the fact that William Hill’s bottom line profits will be hit hard along with the profits of all other bookmakers too, it is the thousands of staff that are going to lose their jobs peoples sympathies should lay with.
One aspect of the decision to lower the stake levels down in value that perhaps does need revisiting is that the UK Gambling Commission decided, that all things considered and to ensure job losses would not be as high as they are expected to be, the reduction should have been to £30 per game played.
However, once they submitted their report and proposal it was the Government that decided to ignore their advice and demand the maximum stake per game played off should be just £2.
Whilst the UK betting shop operation of William Hill will take a financial hit from those new stake levels when they come into effect, the US facing arm of the company is doing extremely well having secured deals with a huge and growing number of US based casinos to operate sportsbooks within their properties.