Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) are a category of gambing machine typically found in betting shops in the United Kingdom. The machines allow gamblers to bet on the outcome of various games, events and competitions which have fixed odds, and forced to display the ‘Return To Player’ on the machine which can be expected to be between 90%, up to 94% depending on the chosen stake.
The most commonly played game is roulette followed by bingo, virtual horseracing and greyhound racing, and a range of slot machine games.
Currently “the house” margin of winnings oscillates between 2.7% and 5%.
New Restrictions on FOBT
The UK government are looking closely into FOBTs, in fact this week they held a revision to betting shops as part of the “problem gambling awareness campaign”. This business has been the subject of debate in the UK for some time now.
It is expected that one of the regulations is to impose a limit of £2, which of course the betting shops consider this to be catastrophic for their business.
The Association of British Bookmakers has argued that such a change would cause as many as 20,000 jobs to be lost in their industry, and could cost the UK as much as £1 billion in tax revenues by 2020.
Not all expectations are negative, the review will include proposed limits that will please different groups. For example one strong proposal suggests the max bet to be £50.as it would not impact in the majority of their players.
This movement was initially proposed by people involved in the Gaming Awareness Campaign, and it is not only toward betting shops, the proposal of reviewing regulations, goes as far as more restrictions on the kind of arcade games children can access, this with the specific proposal of prevent the normalisation of gambling at a young age.
Also, it expects bookmakers and broadcasters to work together to fund public service campaigns and announcements about gaming problems.
The truth is, it is never a bad idea to regulate any activity, however finding the balance is always the secret but essential key for a successful agreement where both parties feel satisfied.