Government Fudge Over FOBT Stake Cut


Yesterday the Government announced it will definitely cut the stake of FOBTs from £100. However, the industry will have to wait a further three months before we know whether the new stake will be as high as £50 or as low as £2. There will be no review of stakes and prizes for games other than prize bingo – a result which was not unexpected.

“It was not a great surprise to me that the Government announced a consultation period before deciding the final stake for FOBTs – but there is a huge difference between £2 and £50, so we will have to see what happens after 12 weeks,” said Simon Barff, Managing Director of Blueprint Machines. “As for the Triennial Review – again I am not surprised that there is no increase of stakes and prizes outside of prize bingo – there were many indications that this would be the case. Experience has shown that changes to stakes and prizes often leads to a period of uncertainty which can be bad for business in any case. Blueprint Machines will continue on our path – which has proven to be a very successful one for us.”

The 12-week consultation period was dismissed as a“missed opportunity by Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson on Radio 4 yesterday. He said that Labour would have cut the stake to £2.

The Association of British Bookmakers welcomed the further consultation period and claimed that a cut to £2 would cost the industry 20,000 jobs. However, it is widely accepted that a £50 stake would make negligible difference to the bookies’ bottom line.

Bacta’s Chief Executive John White said, “We will provide a more detailed analysis of the consultation document in the next few days. National Council are meeting tomorrow to discuss the announcement and if you wish to express your views please contact a member of National Council.”

The consultation document can be read in full here


Comments (3)

Add Your Comment

The best bit is:

Regarding the stakes and prizes of other gaming machines, the government is recommending maintaining current stakes

Looks like manufacturers and suppliers are going to have to focus on making appealing games and sorting out the test procedure rather than relying on a stake increase to improve things.

Charles Flynn
01/11/2017, 13:45

I am guessing the punters will still be in the bookies, so much for a level playing field.

Phill Hardacre
Bridlington / Roxy Amusements
03/11/2017, 17:00


Old Johnny Watsit
JW Amusements
06/11/2017, 14:17

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