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UK Betting Firms Facing Restrictions On FOBTs

UK betting firms may face additional restrictions on fixed odds betting terminals, as the government looks to place limits on the games located within retail shops.

The move came last week as Ministers within the government agreed to lower the maximum bet limit on the games, after receiving pressure from the media and anti-betting activists. The current thought is that limits would be revised down to somewhere in the neighborhood of £50 to £100.

Any such move could be a risky proposition for betting companies, who profit heavily on the games. It has been estimated that revenues from the games are now £1.5 billion, which is half of the gross profits for UK betting firms.

Those betting firms are making their case to politicians, claiming that only 2.5% of the bets placed on the machines are of the maximum bet size, and that restricted the amount wagered will lower revenues and cost British citizens jobs.

Additionally, the Telegraph Newspaper is reporting that the government is empowering local councils to determine where retail betting shops can be located within their towns, and will be given the ability to close shops that are not staffed in a way that the council deems appropriate.

Commenting on the issue an anonymous government source said: "We know lots of people are worried about the numbers of betting shops that have sprung up on their high street. It is only right to give local communities the power to object to a new betting shop if they feel they already have too many on their doorstep. The balance has to be right."