Bookmakers test the waters with new FOBT stake trial

Ahead of the implementation of the £2 maximum stakes for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, UK bookmakers have opted to trial the new stake limit to assess the impact it will have on the industry.

Betting shops in Birmingham are testing out the new stake limit ahead of the legislative change on 1 April, following the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) stressed that all gaming machines must be compliant on time.

The ABB commented on the change: “This is a hugely complex process that is now at an advanced stage where the trialling of content, platform updates and the new stake will soon begin, thereby ensuring all betting shops are compliant with the new maximum stake on April 1.”

400 games are expected to be reprogrammed to become compliant, while the time-setting and spend-limit capabilities remain implemented. Machine suppliers will be required to test the content and necessary platform updates that will ensure the £2 maximum stake can be implemented.

Government officials made the decision to reduce the maximum stakes at FOBTs from £100 to £2 following numerous campaigns from politicians and responsible-gambling advocates.

Ministers, however, were forced to renege on the decision to implement the maximum stakes in autumn after plans to delay the legislation resulted in the resignation of Tracey Crouch, the minister for sport and civil society.

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