Gambling addiction is a looming concern for the United Kingdom, and now fixed odds betting terminals are under review. In 2017, officials in the UK have been cracking down on all gambling activities in an attempt to protect players. However, operators are feeling the pressure following a review on terminals offered by popular bookmakers.
Fixed odds betting systems are a staple for many bookmakers in the UK with betting shops. These systems offer ‘live prices,’ or odds, to gamblers before they place a bet. According to findings by the review, bettors can ‘wager up to £100 (±NZ$182) every 20 seconds.’ The addictive nature of these machines is evident, and they are a risk for problem gamblers.
Fixed Odds Losses
The UK Gambling Commission has revealed that these systems yield more than £1.8 billion (±NZ$3.28 billion) a year. New regulations could lower the maximum stake for terminals to £2 (±NZ$3.6). These gambling devices typically feature popular table games like Blackjack and Roulette. Gambling operators who will be hit the hardest are Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill.
Barclays, a British financial service firm, estimates that Ladbrokes Coral could lose up to £450 million (±NZ$821 million) if the maximum stake is lowered to £2. William Hill could stand to lose £280 million (±NZ$510 million) with the same stake. Analysts at Barclays believe that losses could be far less if the maximum stake is capped at £2 (±NZ$3.6).
While there’s a lot of speculation around the matter, the report will only be complete in October. So, it’s not clear what the final decision will be for gambling operators. At the moment, it’s far more likely that the stake will be lowered to between £20 to £30 (±NZ$36 to NZ$54) per bet. Opponents to these fixed odds terminals are calling for a £2 (±NZ$3.6), but that would impact tax revenues from bookies too drastically.
However, discussions are still underway for the outcome of this gamble between politicians and other parties. So, until then, visit us at NZ Casinos for all the latest gambling news for Kiwis.