UK Bookmakers Fight Back in War Against FOBTs


Posted: April 22, 2014

Updated: October 4, 2017

With the high profile recent controversies over Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in the UK, bookmakers are fighting back against their detractors, defending their right to exist on the high street.

The whole discussion started as bookmakers took advantage of lax British gambling laws
to introduce more and more FOBTs, as well as more and more shops, to high streets up and down the country. After a series of high profile media campaigns, the British bookie suddenly found himself demonized.

Now, however, the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB), have launched their campaign to stop what they see as the unfair tarnishing of their image.

The crack cocaine of gambling

With the relentless actions of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFG) taking their toll on the industry – the government introduced a new 25% tax on FOBTs in the 2014 budget, up 5% on previously – the new “Enough’s Enough” campaign from the ABB isn’t guaranteed to have much of an affect.

Despite the “disproportionate and unjustified measures are putting extreme pressure on the industry, making it harder for us to keep our shops open,” UK citizens will find it hard to pick the ABB’s side in this fight.

One sticking point is the new Point of Consumption (PoC) tax, whereby online online casinos in the UK
who have previously excluded themselves from tax by being based on foreign shores, will be liable to a 15% tax. Many Brits will see this as a positive, not negative, move, fuelled by the failure of corporations such as Amazon to pay their dues on British shores.

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