Bookmaker Shares Drop after Cameron Calls FOBTs a Problem

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William Hill and Ladbrokes saw their shares go down after the political debate in the House of Commons.

Following prime-minister David Cameron’s statement about fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) being a “problem”, Ladbrokes and William Hill saw a drop in company shares. The comment was made during in yesterday’s political debate in the House of Commons.

The Labour party’s attempt to make the Government change British gambling laws and allow local councils to limit the number of high-stakes gambling machines proved unsuccessful, even though the leading coalition did not completely reject the idea of introducing regulations.

Recent gambling news have mentioned that Cameron told Labour leader Ed Miliband that, while members of governing coalition are determined to wait for the release of a report on gambling machines before taking any legal actions against FOBT, they “absolutely shares his concerns”.

Politics driving shares down

Bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes shares suffered after the prime minister indicated that the government might take some future action against betting terminals. William Hill shares dropped 5.7%, while shares in Ladbrokes fell 5%.

The Labour party and anti-gambling campaigners have warned the public opinion about the dangers of high-stake betting machines several times. Players can lose up to GBP300 every minute when using them and they are allegedly highly addictive, which is why campaigners call them the “crack cocaine” of gambling.

According to the Gambling Commission, there are more than 33,000 machines in betting terminals across the UK, generating a yearly revenue of over GBP 1.5 billion.

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