UK Government FOBT Report on Hold Until After Election

A mix of good and bad news for the industry

If MPs approve a June General Election later today, the UK government review of FOBT (fixed-odds betting terminal) stakes and gambling advertising will be delayed due to “Purdah” until after the election.

In UK politics, “Purdah” describes the period between when an election is announced and the date it is held. The idea is to prevent the government from making announcements about any new initiatives, or administrative or legislative changes which might give an advantage to candidates or parties in the forthcoming election.

According to EGR Intel sources, this could push the publication date of the DCMS’s (Department for Culture Media and Sport) review to October of this year.

This delay is seen as advantageous to retail betting shop operators as it pushes any possible reduction in FOBT stakes further into the future — no soon than October 2018 according to some estimates.

On the negative side, Cenkos analyst Simon French suggests it will act as a “brake on industry consolidation”, not a good thing in a slowing UK market.