Bookies Present Petition To Downing Street To Halt Osborne’s Tax Hike
The battle to soften Chancellor George Osborne’s tax hike of 25 percent on fixed odds betting terminals is not going away. Today the betting industry presented a petition with over 1m signatures pleading to the government to halt proposed legislation that will lead to thousands of job cuts.
As we reported earlier William Hill have already announced their intention to close over 100 betting shops and the industry is warning of massive job cuts that could reach over 10,000.
The UK bookmakers especially William Hill and Ladbrokes have had over £460 million wiped off their market value as their share prices have tanked after every decree. To make things worse Sports Minister Helen Grant has given local councils a lot of power to regulate and control how many betting shops and FOBTs they allow in their jurisdictions.
Critics of the government’s crackdown on the “crack cocaine of gambling” like the Association of British Bookmakers are quick to point out that only 1 percent of gamblers become problem gamblers. They also dispute the argument that cracking down on the fixed odds betting terminal will indeed minimize gambling addiction.
Chief executive of the Association of British Bookmakers Dirk Vennix said,” Let’s be clear, thousands of jobs are in jeopardy following the chancellor’s Budget. They will be lost forever if further action is taken.”
The very public and often dirty tactics used by both sides are set to intensify as there are millions of pounds involved and the elections are on every politicians mind.