Ladbrokes chief warns of “doomsday” for betting shops

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Ladbrokes chief Jim Mullen highlights potential job losses and bleak future for betting shops ahead of the proposed B2 max stake drop.


Ladbrokes chief executive, Jim Mullen, has become the latest member of the bookmaking fraternity to speak publicly in defence of FOBTs.

Speaking on the opening day of the Cheltenham festival, he quoted figures from a recent secret KPMG report, which reportedly claims that 1,000 betting shops could close if B2 maximum stakes were dropped to £2.

Mullen argues that swathes of jobs will be lost in the capital if the DCMS decides to take decisive action on FOBTs as a result of its ongoing review of machine stakes and prizes.

“In London alone, potential shop closures could hit nearly 1000, with nearly half of all employees, 4300, losing their jobs, and a potential tax loss to the Exchequer from these London shops alone of £230 million by 2020.

“The future for highstreet betting shops is bleak. The challenges we now face, in my opinion, pose the most serious threat to the existence of bookmakers…throughout the UK.”

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