After the original decision by the UK government to reduce the maximum stake of fixed odds betting terminals in May it has now given confirmation that there is to be a new ruling which will take effect from April 2019 which states that customers of betting shops within the UK will be restricted to a £2 maximum bet – this is a massive reduction from the original figure of £100 and a surprise to many.
A lot of people are seeing this decision as something of a U Turn as it was expected that changes would be set for October 2019, but after a great deal of lobbying and also the resignation of government minister Tracy Crouch, the confirmation of an April inception was announced.
Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs) from a significant part of betting shops revenue so naturally the they are not too keen with this latest ruling as delaying it until October 2019 would have resulted in around £900m, and there is some concerns that this drop in income will mean they will have to make some redundancies in order to survive, and as the gambling industry has over 100,000 employees there is a lot of speculation over what is at stake.
This move has been welcomed by those organisations that have been fighting for some stricter regulation in order to help those with a gambling addiction as FOBT’s are a contentious issue with many who welcome this new ruling. However, for those bookmakers that have been present on the high-street for decades, those businesses will have to mitigate job losses.
The gambling industry therefore finds itself in flux with the Gambling Commission in the UK reporting good, solid revenue figures for the online betting sector. In fact, back in 2016 the regulator confirmed that more cash was being spent by those that enjoy a bet online than anyone else.
As online gambling accounts for at least a third of all gambling revenue (and this includes the national lottery) this makes online gambling the largest single gambling sector, and gamblers have been transferring online for the convenience of being able to play on their favourite games whenever and wherever they choose.
Not only is playing online comfortable but the choice is also far wider than at any high-street betting shop with new slot sites, casinos and sports betting sites opening up offering a massive selection of popular games to choose from and as gaming technology advances games are more immersive and exciting than ever, and the FOBT ruling will most likely propel online gambling even further ahead.
But not everything is rosy in the online gambling world as it is under close scrutiny not only by government but also by those that promote responsible gambling such as GambleAware and the Gambling Commission recently handed heavy fine to three online operators who flouted anti-money laundering measures.