Harding backs £2 on FOBTs


The three-month consultation period now in progress in the UK to decide upon fresh levels of stakes in fixed-odds betting terminals in bookmakers’ shops will certainly result in a substantial cut-back, says Nick Harding, chief executive at leading adult gaming centres company Praesepe.

“Our company standpoint is that the maximum stake should be reduced to £2 and that is the view we will submit in the process of collecting the opinions of interested parties,” he said.

The stance taken by Praesepe, which is part of the Gauselmann Group and the operator of 181 locations across the UK, is mirrored by many other high-street operators that have seen the impact on their own businesses from the availability of the aggressive and high-stakes machines in close proximity with the rest of the industry.

“Common sense dictates that £2 will offer a level playing field to everyone and that will be in our submission. That level is a very low-risk stake. The reality is that in our own adult gaming centres operation the actually average stake on our Category B3 machines is somewhat lower than £2.

“If we can achieve this level playing field then we can all move forward as a united land-based industry, together with the bookmakers, who were, don’t forget at one time members of our trade association, BACTA.”

by David Snook

Comments (3)

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A reduction to £2 maximum stake simply isn’t going to happen. Too many shops would close, too much revenue would be lost by all sides and too many staff would lose their jobs.

The real issue is about protecting problem gamblers, sure, lowering the stake will help with this, however problem gamblers will just stay longer, go to a casino or even stay at home and gamble online.

In my personal opinion a more rhobust self exclusion system is required, where a staff member actually has to come re-activate the gaming machine after a set loss. Tickets should have to be cashed in at the counter instead of being able to be reinserted.

i feel that the bookies will get away with having a max stake of £20.

This year we have seen strong development in the B4 catagory namely the £200 (£400) SG Gaming Community content. I feel this is a big growth area within AGC’s and Bingos, a clear sign that the player wants the bigger jackpot, but not a bigger stake, with most of our players staking around the 25p/50p instead of £1/£2.

Going to be a very interesting few months.


Barry Noble
Noble Amusements
16/11/2017, 23:47

£2 is hardly a low risk stake. You can still burn £100s in no time.

I fail to see why bookies should be allowed any higher.

Casinos should be but I don’t think they should be allowed this open door policy most have now. They should be membership only with your card required to play machines. A card that comes with responsible gambling limits on it such as max stake, max loss limit, max win, max time spent, etc.


Charles Flynn
17/11/2017, 15:23

A £2 max bet on on standard roulette at a loss rate of 2.7% and 3 spins/minute would only give an average loss of 16.2p per minute. Which would work out at £9.72 per hour assuming continuous play without any pause which is not realistic and the bookies would never make anywhere near that. I think faced with that scenario the bookies would remove roulette altogether rather than have it ‘block’ the machine for players of far more profitable reel games.

David Key
18/11/2017, 15:49

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