Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Tag: FOBTs

Rank Group to receive £78m as HMRC finally pays back VAT duties from as far back as 2006

HMRC Rank Group VAT operator Tax
A queue is forming at the door of HMRC after it settled on a return of monies to the Rank Group to the tune of £78m following the long and drawn out battle over VAT on gaming machines. Fifteen years in the waiting, independent operators owed by the taxman need to make sure they join the line - even if it’s without the fast pass of the bigger players.

HMRC ‘carefully considering’ Tribunal decision on VAT refunds as days to appeal count down

HMRC VAT offices tribunal appeal
By Thursday, HMRC will be past the half-way point of the allocated time-frame of 56 days to appeal the First Tier Tribunal decision in the Rank versus HMRC case. Last week, though, the tax office updated Coinslot of its position regarding an appeal, stating: “We are carefully considering the FtT decisions before deciding on next steps.”

Harris undermines her credibility with ill-advised comments on VAT appeal ruling

Carolyn Harris
With small gambling businesses on the brink of bankruptcy throughout the country, mean-spirited APPG head Carolyn Harris MP has bemoaned a court ruling which could see them reclaim more than a billion pounds in VAT - monies that should never have been taken in the first place. Is this latest example of an ill-informed Harris..

Blueprint: ‘Delivering the very best in content’

James Lowe Blueprint B4 content
James Lowe, head of content, Blueprint Operations, comments on the company’s continued commitment to delivering the very best in B4 content and player experiences.

Gambling not alone as ‘sin’ taxes increase across tobacco and alcohol

The latest budget from UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond has increased tax on online casino games in a bid to cover the £1.15bn lost by the treasury in capping FOBTs. However, gambling wasn’t the only so-called ‘sin’ sector to be hit by the government’s drive to end austerity across public services, with alcohol and tobacco also facing duty...

Minister on brink of quitting over FOBT stake delay

FOBT stake reduction
Tracey Crouch, the Sports & Civil Society Minister, is understood to be considering her position after the Treasury announced a six month delay in the reduction of stakes on fixed odds betting terminals. The Government had previously agreed to slash the stakes on fobts, but the recent budget announced that a reduction will be delayed by six months until October...

“I absolutely refute the idea that we simply see what money comes in, and then decide how it’s spent”

Marc Etches
Coinslot engaged with GambleAware chief Marc Etches recently covering a whole range of issues. A further extract of that exchange appears here, featuring some forthright posturing. CS: How much do you think it would cost to fix the problem of problem gambling in terms of the next five years? ME: I don’t think that’s an easy answer to give you. CS: But...

William Hill loses £915 million to FOBTs

william hill fobt
After more than a decade of boosting profits with the £100 maximum stake on FOBTs, bookmaker William Hill has reined in it’s UK high-street ambition to the tune of £915 million. While implementation of the new £2 maximum stake is lagging, bookmakers are beginning to account for the predicted loss of value to their high-street retail estate, revealing exactly how...

Councils prepare for high street changes

High Street
The Local Government Authority has published “a whole council approach” to “tackling gambling related harm”, including a warning that councils must monitor changes to their local gambling landscape following the implementation of the FOBT stake cut. In fact, the document regularly mentions the impact of bookmakers on the high street, detailing the ways in which councils can control shop numbers...

Pressure mounts on FOBT stake cut implementation

Houses of Parliament
April 2020 is simply not good enough for politicians chasing a £2 maximum stake on FOBTs, with MPs signing an Early Day Motion and the House of Lords piling pressure on the government. An Early Day Motion calling for the immediate implementation of a £2 maximum stake on FOBTs is gaining traction with MPs as pressure also mounts on the...

New generation of B3’s are delivering a bigger experience, states Tony Glanville

Tony Glanville
Tony Glanville knows his stuff when it comes to B3s and now he’s looking for a bit of ‘theatre and entertainment’ for the punters. They want ‘bigger’ and ‘glitzy’, he says, which is lucky given that RLMS Sales have gone right down that street. How have you perceived the performances of B3 machines and how important is the category to...

Change of the guard: Jeremy Wright appointed new culture secretary

Jeremy Wright
In Monday’s cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Theresa May moved Jeremy Wright from attorney general to secretary of the DCMS, shifting Matt Hancock to health minister. Jeremy Wright, MP for Kenilworth and Southam, has been appointed the new secretary of state for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport by Prime Minister Theresa May. On Monday 9 July, following the resignation...

Bacta hold latest Parliamentary Lunch for Welsh based MPs

While Bacta continues to keep the pressure on MPs concerning the implementation of the £2 stake for FOBTS, there is more to the association’s dialogue with UK parliamentarians. Brexit and coastal investment were very high on the agenda when Welsh constituency MPs met with Bacta delegates last week. Concerns surrounding the impact of Brexit on the manufacturing sector, the delay...

Bacta request to meet PM advisors

Bacta, Gabi Stergides, fobt, campaign
In a letter addressed to Theresa May, Bacta has reiterated the importance of FOBT stake cut implementation and requested to meet with the Prime Minister’s advisors. President Gabi Stergides sent the letter on Tuesday 26 June, thanking May for her “commitment and leadership” in the decision to cut FOBT stakes, but also expressing concern regarding reports that implementation could take...

Getting to the bottom of it: Coinslot talks FOBTs with Sir Peter Bottomley

Sir Peter Bottomley
Coinslot spent an afternoon talking to Sir Peter Bottomley MP during a Bacta event at Worthing’s Connaught Leisure recently. The veteran Tory parliamentarian and former government department PPS was a primary mover in the campaign to curb FOBTs. But there was more to his position than political posturing - this seaside MP understood the damage that the fixed odds...

Pushing at an open door? Bacta sees room for dialogue between the Triennial lines

John White
Two weeks after the decision to reduce the maximum stake on FOBTs, the analysis of the wider implications of just what the Review into stakes and prizes and social responsibility means for our industry has begun. Aside from the stake reduction, there was seemingly little else to cheer the industry other than an uplift in stakes and prizes for...

Contagion: Westminster council spreads the toxic virus in FOBT fall-out

Westminster Council
With FOBTs defeated on the battlefield, time now then for the unlikely allies to turn on one another? It seems the first to unlink themselves from the brothers in arms are Westminster Council who have turned their hostile attentions towards AGCs. The battle is over; but the war is only just beginning. These adult arcades can have a higher number...

Chancellor once again delays decision on FOBT maximum stake

Coinslot chancellor Autumn Statement Philip Hammond REVIEW
News sources have reported the government will once again delay its upcoming triennial review judgement on reducing the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs). Sources say the decision on how far to lower the maximum stake will now be delayed until after local council elections on 3 May. According to The Times, Chancellor Philip Hammond has put the decision...

Scottish councils want the power to ban FOBTs

FOBT, stakes, Industry, politics, finance
Local authorities in Scotland want the power to ban FOBTs following the Gambling Commission’s “disappointing” £30 maximum stake recommendation. Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow council, supports the campaign for a £2 maximum stake, however due to the uncertainty of its realisation, she believes councils should have the power to ban FOBTs completely. “There is cross-party agreement that we did want to...

Gambling Commission and FOBTs blamed for FEC closure

Talk of the Town FEC
While the bookmakers threaten closures, amusements businesses such as Talk of the Town in Herne Bay continue to suffer from the effects of rising costs and unlevel competition, forcing operator Michael Khoury to sell up.   Talk of the Town in Herne Bay has been sold by operator Michael Khoury, who cited the Gambling Commission and the FOBTs for the venue’s...

MPs call Treasury into question over machines tax take

fobt mps jeff smith
In a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond, MPs Iain Duncan Smith, Carolyn Harris and Ronnie Cowan question the Treasury’s income from FOBTs and ensure doubt is cast on the still- secretive ABB report. MPs Iain Duncan Smith, Carolyn Harris and Ronnie Cowan have penned a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond detailing the“overwhelming” case to reduce the maximum stakes for FOBTs...

Parliament to guard against any FOBT maximum stake higher than £2

Parliament will not agree to “anything higher than £2” says Sir Peter Bottomley who is prepared to put down a motion allowing a final vote on the future of the maximum stake on FOBTs. Sir Peter Bottomley will lead a parliamentary guard against any government proposal for an FOBT maximum stake higher than £2, with the veteran MP prepared to...

Gambling Commission fails to name specific figure for FOBT stakes, recommends ‘£30 or less’

Coinslot - FOBT stakes statistics review cost commission
Betting companies may breathe a sigh of relief, but ministers could still enforce a £2 maximum stake. In a shocking retreat, the Gambling Commission is to recommend reducing the maximum stake on FOBTs to “£30 or less”, backing away from previous threats of £2. The decision, revealed in today's Times, will bring some relief to bookmakers, who warned cutting stakes too low...

Bookies threaten sponsorship cut over stakes

ladbrokes sports sponsorship
Ladbrokes Coral has stated it will reduce the £8m it spends each year on sponsoring sports if a “severe stake cut” on FOBTs is decided by the UK government, prompting a dismissive reaction from campaigners for a £2 maximum stake.   William Hill said it is also looking at making changes to its sponsorship deals, with the company appearing on Stephen...

FOBTs: Common sense maximum stake backed by high street data

Coinslot FOBTs Triennial Review criticism ABB
  A maximum stake of £2 would all but eliminate losses of more than £100 per session on FOBTs, according to research by Landman Economics.   The study, seen by The Times, used Gambling Commission data supplied by high-street bookmakers to examine the proportion of sessions that resulted in losses of £100 and £200 at maximum stake levels of £50, £30, £20...

White and Miller progress Bacta case in Whitehall

Bacta Whitehall Tracey Crouch
Bacta has followed up its meeting with former Conservative party leader, Iain Duncan Smith, with another appointment at Whitehall, this time with Tracey Crouch MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society. The member for Chatham and Aylesford and the politician with responsibility for the gambling industry in all of its guises, met with Bacta chief executive...

Self-service terminals will replace FOBTs says software developer

Coinslot Mor Weizer 2016-lg self service playtech
If the UK government cuts maximum stakes on FOBTs customers will move to self-service betting terminals (SSBTs), according to Playtech, the machine’s software developer.   The company’s CEO Mor Weizer said bookmakers are not limited by the number of sports betting machines allowed in a shop, enabling them to push lost FOBT business onto SSBTs. “I believe that if FOBTs would be impacted, self-service...

Iain Duncan Smith supports bacta case for £2 stake

bacta Iain Duncan Smith
A senior bacta delegation comprising National President, Gabi Stergides and Chief Executive, John White supported by Oliver Hogan, Head Economist at the influential Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), met with former leader of the Conservative Party, Iain Duncan Smith, last week to present the findings of CEBR analysis on the economic impact on bookmakers of a reduction...

Scottish MPs say ‘No’ to FOBTs

Coinslot FOBTs
Last week politicians from Midlothian, Scotland came together from both sides of the political spectrum to campaign against fixed odds betting terminals.   In a show of cross party unity, Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie (SNP), Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley (Lab), and the three local councillors joined forces to campaign against the use of fixed odds betting terminals in Midlothian. “We need...

Hancock grilled by MPs on FOBTs

Coinslot Matt Hancock DCMS
  As the gambling industry, and many other interest groups across the country, waits for the DCMS to decide the fate of FOBTs maximum stake, culture secretary Matt Hancock faced hard questioning from MPs in parliament.   Culture secretary Matt Hancock recognised the issue of FOBTs “raises strong emotions in the House and around the country” in parliament on 8 February, as...