Bookmakers in the UK prepare for store closures as curbs on gambling introduced
Monday is the day that a major change related to fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) in the UK is officially implemented.
FOBTs are a type of electronic slot machine normally found in betting shops in the United Kingdom and introduced in 2001. The terminals allow players to bet on the outcome of various games and events which have fixed odds.
From Monday, these machines will no longer be allowed to offer odds of up to £100 after at the legislative level it was determined that this was too high. Instead, from now on, the maximum odds are only £2.
The British Culture Secretary, Jeremy Wright, on Friday said that this decision was a significant step forward in protecting vulnerable people.
As a consequence of this, bookmakers are preparing to shut shops and push customers towards online gambling as an effect of the curbs. They warned the move would trigger store closures and job losses.
The Guardian reported that Ladbrokes has already chosen 71 out of 1,000 shops that are likely to pull down their shutters. The Association of British Bookmakers predicted that up to 4,500 shops could shut – more than half of all the shops in the UK. William Hill is working to create alternatives whilst Paddy Power doesn’t expect to be forced to close any of its shops, as it didn’t invest much on introducing FOBTs.
Via The Guardian