Bookmakers hurt by reports that government will back FOBTs ‘£2 Nightmare Scenario’

The UK betting industry has been impacted by fresh speculation that the government will move to implement a £2 bet limit on FOBTs machine wagering.

This morning, UK news sources reported that Chancellor Phillip Hammond had accepted the parliamentary recommendations put forward by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), moving to lower FOBTs wagering levels below £10s.

On Monday, The Times newspaper had reported that Hammond would move to stall the government’s final judgement on the long-awaited industry triennial review on FOBTs wagering and advertising standards.

Parliament insiders had detailed that Hammond and the UK Treasury had concerns regarding a shortfall in taxes generated by FOBTs play, which had not been addressed by policy stakeholders.

The news of Hammond’s concerns, had led to further speculation that betting leadership would look to secure a ‘backroom deal’ with the government, seeking to avoid the ‘nightmare scenario’ of a below £10 wagering cut.

Nevertheless, this latest twist in FOBTs judgement, has led to an industry-wide share price decline, with all major listed UK betting enterprises recording price drops.

As of this morning, shares in William Hill were down as much as 14%, with and an enlarged GVC Holdings, the new owner of Ladbrokes Coral, seeing its share price drop 7%.

As yet, neither the UK government or the UKGC have confirmed any final judgement on FOBTs wagering, apart from confirming to industry stakeholders that a reduction in stake wagering will be sanctioned.

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