A group of MPs are calling for the maximum stakes on FOBTs to be cut
By Bill Barber 4:53PM 8 DEC 2016
SHARES in William Hill and Ladbrokes-Coral plc fell sharply on Thursday morning after a group of MPs made calls for the stakes on gaming machines to be slashed.
The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group published the findings of its inquiry into machines on Thursday and that it had found a “strong case” for the maximum stake to be cut to £2 from £100.
Bookmakers have warned that hundreds of betting shops would have to close as a result of such action, which could have a damaging effect on racing’s income from media rights and levy.
Hills shares had fallen by nearly eight per cent to 286.8p on the back of the news, while Ladbrokes-Coral shares were down around 6.7 per cent at 118.6p.
The MPs behind the group have previously campaigned for a major reduction in gaming machine stakes. The government is carrying out a review of gaming machines and is expected to report in the new year.
Analyst Gavin Kelleher at Goodbody said: “The reduction of FOBT maximum stakes to £2 would be considered by many to be the worst case scenario from the perspective of UK bookmakers.”