Group of MPs call for FOBT stakes to be slashed

A group of MPs are calling for the maximum stakes on FOBTs to be cut

Group of MPs call for FOBT stakes to be slashed By Bill Barber 4:53PM 8 DEC 2016

SHARES in William Hill and Ladbrokes-Coral plc fell sharply on Thursday morning after a group of MPs made calls for the stakes on gaming machines to be slashed.

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The Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group published the findings of its inquiry into machines on Thursday and that it had found a "strong case" for the maximum stake to be cut to £2 from £100.

Bookmakers have warned that hundreds of betting shops would have to close as a result of such action, which could have a damaging effect on racing's income from media rights and levy.

Hills shares had fallen by nearly eight per cent to 286.8p on the back of the news, while Ladbrokes-Coral shares were down around 6.7 per cent at 118.6p.

The MPs behind the group have previously campaigned for a major reduction in gaming machine stakes. The government is carrying out a review of gaming machines and is expected to report in the new year.

Analyst Gavin Kelleher at Goodbody said: "The reduction of FOBT maximum stakes to £2 would be considered by many to be the worst case scenario from the perspective of UK bookmakers."

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