There is no getting away from the fact that fixed odds betting terminals make all bookmakers a lot of money, and over the last few months the UK Gambling Commission have bene busy determining if there should be a reduction regarding the £100 maximum stake limit imposed on players of those types of gaming machines.
Well, it has been announced that they have decided to propose a reduction to £30 as the maximum stake limit, and it is now going to be up to the UK Government whether they should act on those suggestions and reduce the stake levels accordingly.
Whilst all bookmakers have of course been expecting a reduction in the stake limits, that proposal is not as low as some people and commentators have been suggesting, for many gambling related charities and organisations had been calling for a reduction down to as low as just 2.00.
As such, if the UK Government does act on those proposals, and they are probably going to, I doubt whether there are going to be any serious reductions in the profitability of FOBT’s, for it is very true to say that most players of such machine do not play for stake levels as high as 30 per game, never mind the maximum current £100 per game.
I do know that many betting site operators in the United Kingdom had been very worried about the impact of reducing the stakes on FOBT’s down to a maximum of £2 per game played, for that would have made their gaming machines unprofitable or at the very least reduce the income generated by them massively.
At the end of the day though it shouldn’t be the Government that decides such matter it is a third-party organisation that should decide, for they are less likely to be swayed by people and companies who do make donations to their political party.
Whether you like it or not, the stakes of FOBT machines are going to be reduced, which does seem a pointless exercise when you consider the fact that anyone in Great Britain can fire up their computer or laptop and then play at online casino sites very easily.
Many of the companies that do own online casinos are based in tax havens and away from the scrutiny and regulation of the UK Gambling Commission, and as such the tax revenue that betting shops would be generating through he income made from their FOBT’s will be reduced and will be lost to offshore non-UK tax paying companies.
I will of course be monitoring this news story as and when the UK Government do decide whether or not to act on the suggestions of the UK Gambling Commission, but there is no doubt in my mind that they are not going to reduce the stakes to anything higher than the proposed £30 and there is still the chance that they may reduce it even lower, we will just have to wait and see.