The betting and gambling world has always been controversial, with some even labeling it as a “sure loss of money” . However, despite all the criticism, the general public might have gambling is going as strong as ever in the UK.
Or that was the case until the government presented their new law regarding fixed-odds betting terminals changing the maximum stake from £100 down to £2, and people are not happy at all. Actually, according to Solicitor.guru source, bookmakers even plead to get this new law debunked, although they didn’t get too far.
Of course, this change still has to be approved. So, it has to go through the parliamentary vote, which will most likely happen in 2019. Until that occurs, let’s take a look at what this imminent change in the gambling world means.
Fixed-odds betting terminals: a threat to society
The reason behind this major cut might be more profound than you would think. You see, according to HM Treasury spokesperson and declarations from the government, these betting machines are, and we quote “Social blight”.
The government considers gambling, especially fixed-odds betting terminals unnecessary, and that they are causing more harm than good to the society. Of course, the bookmakers have something else to say, although the government might be right.
The thing is, numbers do not lie. According to a study made by the Gambling Commision at least 14% of gamblers who are involved with fixed-odds betting terminals are problem gamblers or even addicts.
Of course, this is a meager number when you put it against the number of current gamblers and bookmakers who are currently making money out of these machines. However, the government has decided to take a stand against this particular situation, and their words are final.
How the new law will affect everyone
Despite the department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the government wishes to reduce the maximum stake from £100 down to £2 is a final decision. The truth is, it will affect everyone, not just gamblers.
This new law could affect the UK in more ways than one can imagine. Not only will it mean a significant loss for the HM Treasury and the bookmakers themselves (who made £53.000 per machine, per year) but for the state market as well.
Bookmakers losing the opportunity to gain more profit from FOBT could result in people not investing in gambling shops, and therefore, causing a significant loss in the state market.
Of course, that’s a small loss if you compare it to the £267m the government will lose on taxes after the cut to the maximum stake is finally done. Of course, this arose preoccupation among the treasury officials, and there were even rumors about the government delaying the decision up until 2020.
However, the government has made a clear and strong statement about how this new law won’t be withdrawn. Even if it means such huge losses for everyone.
Although, not everything is bad news! Since HM Treasury already expects to work on increasing online gambling, which is something both the government and bookmakers will gladly work towards to.