Monday, September 28, 2020


HMRC outlines procedures for repayment of VAT monies

HMRC repayment of VAT monies
HMRC has issued its guidance notes to businesses in the gaming, gambling and leisure industries looking to reclaim VAT following the Upper Tribunal’s decision to find in favour of Rank and Done Bros last month. Coinslot includes an extract of the Revenue and Customs Brief which was published on the website on 26 May.

Will Hill eyes £150m FOBT rebate, GVC pushes for £200m

William Hill FOBT VAT rebate
They’re queueing up at the doors of HMRC for that VAT rebate due following the Upper Tribunal’s decision to find in favour of operators over the taxman in..

Bookies “fighting for our lives” says Betfred founder

Betfred Fred Done FOBT
Towards the end of last year, Betfred’s Fred Done claimed the felling of the FOBT had left the betting industry up a creek sans paddle.

“Another really extraordinary year” – Interel reviews 2019 and beyond

Interel Katherine Morgan BACTA AGM
As 2020 approached, bringing the promise of further political and regulatory upheaval, Interel deputy managing partner Katherine Morgan hailed just how..

Will Hill anticipate huge machine revenue loss

Will Hill machine revenue loss
The latest update from betting shop chain William Hill sees it struggling to catch a break, with FOBT losses continuing to punish its bottom-line amidst wider market uncertainty.

Machine Gaming Duties slump by a quarter in tax year to-date

HMRC Machine Gaming Duty
In the first financial report to be released since FOBT stake limits were slashed to £2, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has seen a 24.3 percent reduction in its year-to-date Machine Gaming Duty..

William Hill posts £63.5m H1 loss following FOBT cut

william hill fobt
William Hill posted a £63.5m loss for the first half of the year as the company adjusts to the FOBT maximum stake cut. A one-off accounting charge relating to the FOBT maximum stake reduction has seen bookmakers William Hill post a £63.5m loss for the first half of calendar year 2019. The company posted a one-off accounting charge of £97.1m mitigating...

William Hill looks to close 700 branches

william hill fobt
William Hill has announced that it has entered a consultation process that could close up to 700 of its branches. The firm is currently consulting on plans to downsize its UK estate following a "significant fall" in gaming machines revenues. A company statement read: "William Hill has entered into a consultation process with retail colleagues over plans to close around 700 licensed...

Betfred in the red again

Betting shop operator Betfred added nicely to its revenues last year, but the cost of preparing for the hit to its FOBT business put profits back and into..

GamCom stats detail industry in need of aid

Gambling Commission Statistics Performance
Landed competitors struggled to keep up yet again with their remote equivalents last year, but the Gambling Commission remains coy as to how (or even if)..

William Hill: US growth and online acquisitions come to the rescue

William Hill US online growth
William Hill CEO Philip Bowcock remained positive announcing the firm’s Q119 results, highlighting two percent revenue growth. But as the real story lay beneath..

Cutting FOBT stakes to £2 is the right thing to do

FOBT, stakes, UK, jeremy wright, gamcare
On the date of implementation for FOBT maximum stake cuts, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport Jeremy Wright posted a blog backing his predecessor’s decision and emphasising that where there is evidence of gambling-related harm, the DCMS will act. Today the maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals will be cut from £100 to £2 in bookmakers...

GamCom talks tough as lowered FOBT stakes go into effect

GamCom, FOBT, politics, uk, b2 machines
The implementation of new maximum stakes on B2 machines this week served as an opportunity for the regulator to wag its finger not just at bookies, but also at the AGC and remote sectors. Ahead of the £2 stake limit on B2 terminals coming into force this week, the Gambling Commission wrote to bookmakers to “remind them of their responsibilities”...

FOBT stake slash gets thumbs up from regulatory reviewers

FOBT, stake, regulatory reviewers, committee
The Regulatory Policy Committee has accepted a revised impact assessment from the DCMS on its proposed cut to maximum stakes on betting shop terminals. The fall-out, they say, is alright with them. The Regulatory Policy Committee has given its stamp of approval to the imminent cut on maximum FOBT stakes, scheduled to come into effect on April 1. The non-departmental advisory...

FOBT decision will drive further closures on the high street says independent bookie

GamCom, FOBT, politics, uk, b2 machines
Independent betting shops are feeling the squeeze as they fight a two-front war against regulatory changes and increased operating costs, according to the chief executive of one regional firm. Howard Chisholm of Chisholm Bookmakers, which operates over 15 sites throughout the north- east of England, said that upcoming stake restrictions on B2 machines posed “the highest risk” to his business,...

Betting shops prepare for FOBT stake reduction

Coinslot-stake reduction
Trials are underway in Birmingham aimed at prepping the betting industry for compliance in time for April’s reduction in FOBT stakes. With just six weeks remaining until new and vastly reduced maximum FOBT stakes go into effect, bookmakers have opted to undertake a trial of the new £2 maximum wager limit - in order to assess its potential impact to...

FOBT stake reduction signed into law, but political pressure set to continue

FOBT, stake reduction, politics, law, gambling
The reduction of the maximum stake on FOBTS from £100 to £2 has finally been passed into law, presenting a welcome Christmas gift for the wider industry - but how long will the anti-gambling hangover last into the New Year? On Tuesday 18 December the motion to reduce the maximum stake on FOBTs was approved by the House of Lords,...

Gabi Stergides: All’s well that ends well!

Bacta, Gabi Stergides, fobt, campaign
Bacta National President, Gabi Stergides reflects on a year in which the association pulled off a lobbying coup that many would not have bet on. Looking back on 2018 what were the high points and the low points? There’s no doubt that 2018 will go down as one of the most dramatic and significant years for Bacta and the well being...

Harris lauds industry as one of “principle”

Carolyn Harris Bacta AGM 2018 Coinslot Coinslot
A passionate speech from Swansea MP and anti-FOBT campaigner Carolyn Harris saw her declare BACTA members as “true friends” and condemn the national regulator

FOBT stakes brought forward: Industry, politicians and finance sector reacts

FOBT, stakes, Industry, politics, finance
Whilst the week may have seen no small degree of political upheaval and dissent, there was near unanimity in the response to the government’s turnaround on the timing of new FOBT stakes. BACTA chief executive John White called it “a victory for common sense,” adding that “there was never any justification for being delayed beyond April 1.” “The right decision...

Bacta the future: Amusements industry not standing still when it comes to social responsibility

Bacta convention, fobt
While the FOBT stake reduction will undoubtedly be a major focus during John White’s keynote address at this year’s Bacta Convention, the association’s CEO will situate the controversy within the broader context of social responsibility and suggest there is still more work to be done. Social responsibility will be a key theme in John White’s keynote address at the 2018...

Stergides letter “received attention” from Downing Street prior to FOBT date change

Politics, fobt
A letter from Bacta national president Gabi Stergides “received attention” from the Prime Minister in the week leading up to government’s decision to push forward the date of the £2 maximum stake implementation on FOBTs. On 2 November, Stergides sent a letter to the government outlining the need for an April 2019 implementation date, rather than the proposed October 2019...

Bacta looks forward to a new narrative

John White Coinslot Bacta annual convention
The broad reach of Bacta will be in evidence this week when the membership gathers in London for the annual convention. Coinslot asked John White what we...

Government u-turns on FOBT stake deadline

gambling, Underage, statistics, Rank, parliament
The government has acquiesced to growing calls – even within its own ranks – for it to bring forward a proposed reduction in FOBT maximum stakes

Amendment tabled for FOBT stake reduction

Houses of Parliament FOBT Stake Amendment
From a 21 strong group of Tory rebels, plus a UDP faction, some 74 MPs have now stepped forward to table a motion to attempt to force a government reversal on the delayed implementation of FOBT maximum betting stakes.

Over 70 cross-party MPs support early FOBT implementation date

Over 70 cross-party MPs support April 2019 FOBT implementation date A cross-party group of MPs, will tabled a new clause and a sequence of amendments to the Finance Bill to bring forward the implementation date for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to April 2019. This follows the announcement last month that the Government intends to implement the £2 stake maximum stake...

Chancellor ignores industry calls to cut the FOBT stake now

Chancellor Philip Hammond budget speech FOBT stake cut
The odds of Philip Hammond bringing the stake cut on FOBTs forward to immediate effect were not that bad going into this week’s Budget Statement. You’d have thought that the weight of public pressure would have shortened the chances to a near favourite. But you’d have thought wrong, as did the entire amusement and soft gaming industry. The chancellor...

Enforce the FOBT stake – or we’ll do it for you, say legislators

FOBT, politics, government, Philip Hammond,
A coalition of over thirty members of parliament and peers have called on the Chancellor to enforce the government’s promised reduction in FOBT stakes - and have pledged to take matters into their own hands if he does not. In a joint letter published last week in Parliament’s The House magazine, signatories from all major parties and both chambers praised...

Deal or no deal? Katherine Morgan shines a light on politics and the industry

Parliament,Katherine Morgan, Interel Consulting, FOBT, bacta
Katherine Morgan is the deputy managing partner at Interel Consulting and is Bacta’s public affairs and political adviser. She recently worked with Bacta to successfully campaign for the FOBT £2 stake. She has worked in political consultancy for ten years and was formerly the senior adviser to a Government Minister in the Treasury. In a Coinslot exclusive, she shines...

An industry uniting? ABB and RGA in merger talks following “the FOBT thing”

industry Handshake
Reports of a merger between the Association of British Bookmakers and the Remote Gambling Association have raised eyebrows in the industry, but will any other sectors choose to join this proposed broader body? Following a year on the defensive, the Association of British Bookmakers and the Remote Gambling Association are rallying in talks of a merger. This week RGA CEO Clive...