In a long touted move the UK Parliament, more specifically the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, finally ruled that the maximum FOBT stakes from no on would be not 100 GBP but just 2 GBP, something they hope will mitigate some of the massive social damage these dastardly machines do each day. But as the bookies howl in dismay will all their dire predictions come true or is the government plan for online tax increases for sites like Bet365 going to offset the revenue loss?
- Will the cut in maximum FOBT stakes reduced the effects of problem gambling?
- Are the bookies complaining that they can’t rob poor people as quickly anymore?
- Should the UK ban all Fixed Odds Betting Terminals and solve the problem entirely?
- Which, if any, of the Bookies predictions of doom and gloom will come true?
You’d think someone had threatened to murder their children not mere make a minor adjustment to UK gambling laws. Well known bookmakers that have served the community well down the ages suddenly bursting into tears and gnashed their teeth because they’re being prevented from stealing quite so much money off the poor in future. They threatened a loss of jobs, a loss of revenue, a foreign invasion of overseas sites to compete with the likes of Bet365 and ignored that FOTB stakes have been way too high.
With 33,611 of the horrid mechanical marvels in the UK the profits for the gambling industry were clear enough on paper, many high street bookies made more than have their money from them, but with each averaging out to take fifty three thousand pounds a year mostly from the segment of the population who could least afford it the maximum 100 GBP FOBT stakes are seen as having contributed to problem gambling, the machines themselves dubbed, “the crack cocaine of gambling.”
High FOBT Stakes Have Caused Too Much Social Harm
“This is a decision that will have far-reaching implications for betting shops on the high street.” Said the Association of British Bookmakers wholly ignoring the fact that most people who like to bet on sports in the UK, or even play casino style games, do so online these days. “We expect over 4,000 shops to close and 21,000 colleagues to lose their jobs.” They went on to lament, as if high FOBT stakes and the massive social damage they do should be retained just to avoid this market change.
“These machines,” Matt Hancock said very deliberately as Secretary of State for DCMS, “are a social blight and prey on some of the most vulnerable in society, and we are determined to put a stop to it and build a fairer society for all.” Which is pretty unequivocal for British politics, and the cross party support the new limit on FOBT stakes, which will come into effect sometime next year, enjoys means we’re likely to see Theresa May and her “Hostile Environment” extend beyond Brexit and Immigration.
Bet365 Is Far Better Than Any Fixed Odds Betting Terminal
The shortfall in revenue, which will be quite sizable, will be made up for by new increased taxation on online gambling sites like Bet365, who frankly can probably afford it, although if you’re in the UK gambling news headlines won’t continue to carry bookies’ scare stories of doom and gloom ahead for all because they’re not allowed to rob the poor quite so quickly anymore, think again. They’re sulking and are likely to continue to pump out their propaganda in hopes of swaying nervous parliamentarians.
“The bookmakers have chosen to take a defiant approach, trying to face down Parliament, really, with a very aggressive campaign.” Said Tom Watson, shadow secretary for DCMS, and he expects that to continue despite, as labour MP Carolyn Harris put it upon hearing of the cut in maximum FOBT stakes; “This was morally the right decision to make and it is a victory for all those people whose lives have been blighted by these toxic machines.” Now we just need to ban the bloody things entirely.