In advance of the soon to be introduced new maximum limit of £2 on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals ( FOBT ), British High Street Bookmakers are preparing to get ready for the change come April 2019.
With the Racing Post reporting that the Association of British Bookmakers are to trial the new limit across betting shop estates within the city of Birmingham in the coming weeks.
The new enforced limit comes into effect from the 1st April this year, whereas up until now, ‘punters’ could and can bet up to £100 per spin of a virtual roulette wheel on these FOBT machines. Hence some sections of the media have labelled them the ‘Crack Cocaine of the High Street’.
The Bookmaker industry is of the view that the introduction and reduction of the maximum bet limit will result in numerous closures of betting shops, as they will no longer be profitable. Despite the fact many companies got around the maximum of four FOBT machines per shop, by specifically opening new premises within yards of existing shops. Therefore increasing the number of terminals available to play in a particular area.
Both William Hill and GVC who own Ladbrokes Coral have announced the introduction of the enforced new maximum limit of £2 will result in over 1000 betting shop closures.
The ABB have announced that over 400 FOBT games are in the process of being changed so as they meet the requirement of the new £2 limit.
These changes will be trialed in the Birmingham area in advance of the new legislation governing the £2 maximum stake becoming law on 1st April 2019.
The ABB said of this trial: “This is a hugely complex process that is now at an advanced stage where the trialling of content, platform updates and the new stake will soon begin, thereby ensuring that all betting shops are compliant with the new maximum stake on April 1.
“We are grateful to everyone who is working tirelessly to ensure that betting shops meet these new requirements. Betting shops will remain the best and safest place on the high street to have a flutter.”