Bookmakers Expect Massive Job Cuts If FOBT Minimum Stake is Lowered
The fixed odds betting terminal debate is coming to a head with the government set to take a decision on cutting the maximum stakes allowed. There has been widespread speculation as to what the exact cut will be but a report in the Sunday Times quoting Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has got Britain’s gambling giants very concerned. According to the report Hancock is considering cutting the maximum bid from £100 to £2.
Bookmakers are warning of drastic job cuts should this cut come into play. Share prices of Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill dropped 8% and 11% respectively on the news. Other gaming giants like GVC saw drops of more than 2% on the FTSE 250.
CEO of Ladbrokes Coral Jim Mullen reiterated his long standing opinion that the proposed betting stake cuts will not do anything to address the issue of problem gambling and would only result in job losses.
He went on to say,” It should be noted that the current call for evidence is yet to conclude and industry responses have not yet been submitted to Government. The industry has also always made it clear that a cut to stakes will have serious consequences – resulting in shop closures which will ultimately affect jobs, tax revenue and the funding of racing.”
The exact extent on job losses expected should the £2 limit come into play is not certain but according to a report by KPMG for the Association of British bookmakers estimates that over 3,000 betting shops will close and about 15,000 jobs will be lost.
Despite all the rumors and speculation a final decision has yet to be announced and according to a spokesman for the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport they will only make a final decision once all the evidence has been considered.