The bookmaking industry on a whole could be about to take a massive hit if the government does, in fact, decide to crackdown on high-stakes machines. These have been called by certain people ‘The crack’ for hardcore gambling addicts and is said to be one of the main problems with the business. Most companies will lose a lot of profit in the long run although nobody will be hit as hard as Ladbrokes. It is estimated that is this crackdown does take place they will lose a huge 450 million pounds in sales!
The maximum stake allowed to be placed on fixed odds machines (FOTBs) is currently set at 100 pounds and is set to take a massive 98% cut leaving the maximum allowed to be staked at 2 pounds. This proves just how serious the government is about helping to get rid of gamblers “crack”. Many people claim that this will have no effect at all and will just mean that people will spend more time in bookmakers on the machines spending the same amount of money. Instead of having two 50 pound games they will have 50 games at 2 pounds each. The only difference being that they will spend 5 hours instead of 5 minutes in the bookies which also makes it more likely they will place bets on other things such as Horse racing or Football!
Banks have predicted that the maximum stake will not drop all the way to 2 pounds and will instead be either halved to 50 pounds or quartered to 25. This will mean the estimated loss will drop massively as well and Ladbrokes would welcome this with open arms (as well as any other bookmakers).
One thing that many people are worried about is the closure of bookies around the country as it would cost people a lot of jobs and leave thousands of abandoned buildings. The association of British Bookmaker estimates that if the maximum stake is lowered to around 20 pounds then there will be over 2500 shops closing within the next 3 or 4 years. If the limit was to hit around 10 pounds then there is a fear that over 3500 bookies could close in the near future!
Betting shops have been pretty stable in recent years with around at 9,000 shops in the UK, but when compared to the 70’s and 80’s when the number was more than 15,000 that is nothing. Although bookies still make up 4 percent of all Britain’s retail units! If this crackdown does take place we are likely to see the number off bookmakers around the UK fall by a third to around 6,000 by 2020. Thank you for reading and remember to check out our other articles to keep updated with the news in the gambling world!