UK bookies furious with dodgy gambling report
Bookmakers in the United Kingdom are furious with the latest report by MPs, concerning fixed-odds betting terminals. The Association of British Bookmakers feels that the report is flawed, and have called for an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. According to the report, MPs want the maximum stake for gambling terminals to be limited to £2 a pop.
The current situation
At present, fixed-odd gambling terminals in the United Kingdom have maximum wagers of £100 a go. MPs deem these gambling terminals to be the worst kind of gambling in the United Kingdom and seem determined to stamp them out once and for all. Bookmakers feel that although a £2 maximum stake would limit the risk of gambling addiction, it would also require a greatly reduced cash prize, and that may not be enough to convince gamblers to try their hand at the machines in the first place. In short, the industry might collapse.
No case to call
The bookmakers do not feel as though the review by MPs has been fair. The bookmakers themselves were not a part of the report, and most MPs have not backed their name to the report. Instead, the bookies feel as though the report has been compiled by MPs with an “axe to grind” against the gambling industry in general. Betting shops are already being closed across the country – with the bookies saying that 100 shops per year are set for the chop. The bookies are worried that the harsh terms imposed on betting terminals would effectively spell doom for their businesses.
Little to no evidence has been presented in the MPs report. Whatever evidence they used to compile it has not been presented or indeed recorded in the report, leaving many bookmakers to assume that the report is naturally biased in favour of those against the gambling industry in the UK. Players are already required to have an account to bet more than £50 on a betting terminal, but no mention of this is present in the report. The betting terminals account for more than 50% of bookmakers’ profits, and this crucial statistic has also been left out of the report.
What will be done?
At this moment in time, it is reasonable to assume that the fierce backlash by bookmakers will be felt and acted upon. An inquiry into the report is likely to see it revised, included the important information that MPs have very carefully left out. Whilst the MPs demands and findings are likely to be raised in parliament, it is unlikely that they will be acted upon, as there doesn’t appear to be enough MPs that agree on the issue. In an industry that is already falling apart at the seams, don’t expect the UK high street bookmakers to give in and go down without a fight.