As FOBTs maximum stakes were slashed to €2.3, Ladbrokes will close up 1,000 shops in 2019, putting thousands of jobs at risk.
UK.- The reduction of maximum stakes at fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from €116.5 to €2.3 was enforced this week. The decision may have a hugely negative impact on the industry, causing not only a loss of profit but of jobs as well.
As the company told media outlet The Sun, Ladbrokes will close up to 1,000 shops, putting 5,000 jobs at risk. They currently operate 3,475 stores but will lose out on cash from regulation changes, which will force them to reduce.
“As announced during a recent trading update we expect up to 1,000 shops to become loss-making,” they said. “Closures at this level would place up to 5,000 jobs at risk over the next 18 to 24 months,” the company added.
Furthermore, the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) stated: “There will be a significant impact on the number of shops and people employed in our industry as a result of the stake cut.”
William Hill will shut down 900 stores, adding to the decision of Ladbrokes to close shops due to the FOBTs slash down.
The FOBTs slash down
After years of discussing what the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) should be, UK politicians determined that it must be lowered from £100 to £2. Monday, April 1 saw this come into force.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) revealed that it wrote to bookmakers to remind them of their responsibilities in ensuring that consumers are protected during the implementation process and after.
The new rules are intended to reduce the risks that players can lose large amounts of money in a short space of time. Ahead of the implementation, the Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive has reiterated to bookmakers the regulator’s expectations about how the changes should be managed.