William Hill Issues Dire Warning Ahead of FOBT Announcement This Week
UK bookmaker William Hill has launched a last ditch attempt to block the pending changes to FOBTs. They have warned Culture Secretary Matt Hancock of massive job losses and a threat from foreign takeovers should the planned FOBT changes come into effect. As we have reported over the last few years the UK Government has been weighing the various options to tackle the “crack cocaine of gambling” which the FOBTs have become notoriously known as.
Under continuous pressure from many groups the government has had to come up with a plan that would see FOBTs regulated in a manner that would see their devastating effect on poor communities diminished. The main issue according to opponents of the FOBTs is the current maximum wagering limit which is a massive £100.
The plan by Hancock is to reduce this by 98 percent to £2 which is set to have a devastating effect on the bottom line of UK bookmakers who rely on these cash cows for a large part of their revenues. Currently there are over 30,000 FOBTs in the UK and billions are spent by vulnerable punters on these high speed gambling machines.
William Hill’s Chairman Roger Devlin has warned Hancock that 20,000 jobs can be at risk if the decision to cut the limit to £2 is put in place. He went on to say that the decision would be “catastrophic” for the company. In his words,” Consolidation within our sector continues and I would also not want to see the impact of a disproportionate triennial outcome being a factor in the name of William Hill being added to the list of companies now in foreign ownership.”