FOBTs Generated £1.6 billion For UK Bookmakers Last Year
The controversy over fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) has been well documented by our team. They are dubbed the “crack cocaine” of the gambling world as they number more than 35,000 across the UK. The calls to limit the current £100 pound maximum have been around for a long time now as the damage to communities from these machines has become a major political issue.
The reason why the issue of FOBTs is so explosive is the sheer amount of revenues these high speed gambling machines generate for the UK bookmakers. The Gambling Commission has just released the latest numbers which revealed that in the last year to £1.6 billion was lost on these machines to the month of September 2014 which is an increase of £45 million form the previous year.
These numbers account for 52 percent of profits for the major betting giants in the last year. It is for his reason that even the bookmakers themselves have suggested measure to prevent problem gamblers losing everything at these machines. FOBTs are awash in all high street betting shops and have come under fire by local councils and Churches who have demanded powers to restrict betting limits and numbers of machines allowed in certain areas.
Another worrying factor released by the Gambling Commission is the revelation that 29000 people were “self excluded” from FOBTs but there were over 21000 breaches of these orders. Calls have been made to change the maximum stake from £100 to as low as £2. The major bookmakers like William Hill, Ladbrokes, Gala Coral and Paddy Power have been looking to preempt the seeming imminent crackdown on FOBTS and have agreed on restricting advertising in shop windows and television as part of the measures aimed at preventing much further sanctions by the government.