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...

FOBT delay costs Treasury money, says latest research

Coinslot HM Treasury
The Government is set to lose money by delaying implementation of a £2 stake on Fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), new research suggests. Analysis from Cebr shows that a two-year delay in implementation of the new stake limit, announced in May, not only has a social cost, but could see the Exchequer miss out on an annual revenue boost of up...

Glasgow struggles for legal means of B2 redress

Lawmakers in Scotland’s largest city wish to clamp down on FOBT stakes, but fear the litigious clout of the bookmaker. Glasgow City Council fears legal reprisal if it attempts to enforce its desired crackdown on maximum FOBT stakes, according to a new document put before local legislators last week. There are at present 800 of the machines distributed across the city’s...

Paddy Power Betfair downplays FOBT cut

Gambling giants Paddy Power Betfair has claimed that it can weather the £2 stake cut to FOBTs, standing in stark opposition to many other sires of ruin within the industry. The bold assertion comes as the company reported a four per- cent rise in profits for the first half of 2018 with totals hitting £106m. A statement from the firm...

We need more research: Ignorance or something else more worrying?

FOBT, stakes, Industry, politics, finance
The British gambling industry knows where moral redress is required, so, asks Chris Webster, why on earth is the Gambling Commission claiming so virulently to be in-the-dark? Here’s what a man does when he knows he isn’t fit for a task. He says he doesn’t have the right tools. I’m about to save the Gambling Commission four years of research...

UKGC heralds launch of four-year data drive

The Gambling Commission and its partners are, apparently, still in the dark as to the characteristics of UK problem gambling - as they choose an extended exercise in number-crunching over expediting the passing of common-sense legislation. In the latest move to tighten its grip on the industry, the Gambling Commission will soon reach out to operators throughout the land, in an...

Coo-Coo- Ca-choo, Mrs Linneweber

FOBT, stakes, Industry, politics, finance
Taking a trip back to the source, Sam Spencer argues that the latest news from the Linneweber VAT disputes can’t possibly affect the DCMS’ decision on when to cut FOBT stakes for the sake of problem gamblers. Can it? It all began in Bavarian bars at the turn of the millennia where Mrs Edith Linneweber was left in charge of...

Lucky Star: Making gambling fun again

Since the Triennial announcement, Lucky Star owner Nigel Botelho believes high-street gamblers have lifted their heads up from the FOBT, and began to reconsider the entertainment-focused approach of the AGC. Accurately predicting player behaviour following the Triennial Review decision has been an endeavour for many in the industry, but Nigel Botelho, owner of Lucky Star, has the benefit of a...

Bacta to voice members’ outrage over B2 delay at Treasury meeting

John White
So how long does it take to change the FOBT stake to £2? Most in the machines industry find it risible that two years has been proposed as the necessary bedding in time. If the stake were increased to £200, they smile, it could probably be ready in two hours. Trade body Bacta are going to government next week...

In pursuit of balance

Dan Waugh
In an excerpt of a blog post for consultancy firm Regulus Partners, Dan Waugh calls for the industry, the regulator, and the government to pursue a more balanced approach to gambling. As any fish on a bicycle will tell you, balance is a tricky thing. In matters of gambling policy, equilibrium at times seems like a hopeless dream as debate...

Revolving door politics

coinslot FOBT campaign BALPPA
The industry has a new Secretary of State - 26 weeks after welcoming the last one. So, asks Olly Gully, is this what the government meant by ‘strong stable leadership’? You wait ages for a bus and then three come along at the same time. The first was so slow and stuttery it took over half a decade for it to...

Bacta set out party conference campaign

John White Coinslot bacta
Bacta has outlined a programme of lobbying activities during ‘Party Conference Season’ during which the association will be taking its arguments on behalf of the industry to all three major political parties. The lobbying programme starts in Brighton on 17 September when the south coast resort will host the Liberal Democrats. One week later and Bacta will be in Liverpool...