UK Finance Minister To Curb FOBT Limitations Among Fears of Losing Tax Revenues
There are few topics in the UK gambling industry that evoke more emotions than that of the notorious fixed odds betting terminals or FOBTs. Out team has covered what are dubbed as the “crack cocaine” of gambling in depth over the last few years.
The simple fact is that these high speed gambling machines account for as much as half of UK bookmakers revenues depending on who you ask. While the government has come under sustained pressure form various groups over the last few years, the bottom line is that tax revenues form FOBTs cannot and probably will not be surrendered by the UK Treasury.
The latest update in the ding dong battle between bookmakers and the Government took an interesting turn with British Finance Minister Philp Hammond reportedly blocking any attempts to curb FOBTs as he needs to preserve these significant tax revenues.
Last October we reported on Britain’s ministry for culture, media and sports launching what was dubbed as a consultation that would look into the key issue of the dangers of FOBTs which is the maximum wagers currently allowed.
As it stands the maximum wagers are £100 which can be played every 20 seconds about. British lawmakers are looking to get this down to as low as £2 which would of course significantly reduce revenues. Bookmakers are of course vehemently opposing this restriction as they know all too well that this would have a potentially devastating effect on their bottom lines.
Whether this report is true is not entirely clear and Sports Minister Tracy Crouch who is overseeing the review called the article stating that the curb on FOBTs was halted by Hammond was in fact “ fake news”.
To make things even more unclear British finance ministry declined to comment leaving once again speculation to run rife as to what will com of FOBTs.To put things in perspective we reported that according to a report by Landman Economics released this year in May, over 11 billion pounds have been lost by punters on FOBTs since their launch in 2008.