Today the government of the United Kingdom announced that they've cut the max bet limit on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2 from the previous max of £100.
The move comes some time of debate, as gaming operators have fought to have higher amounts than the £2 ceiling, as they say the lower amount kill negatively impact their business. Conversely, lawmakers claim that those high bet limits are contributing to addiction issues, which trump the financials of a betting company.
On the announcement, many game company shares dropped substantially, with William Hill falling 6.5%, while GVC and Ladbrokes Coral both fell more than 4%. Some of these companies are claiming that the move will cost jobs within the UK as financials are negatively impacted by the decision. Other companies are at least understanding of the rule change, and groups like Paddy Power Betfair are embracing the new rules. In a statement company CEO Peter Jackson said, "We have previously highlighted our concern that the wider gambling industry has suffered reputational damage as a result of the widespread unease over stake limits on gaming machines."
FOBTs have been described as the crack cocaine of gambling, as the machines can take in such a high amount of money and be resolved within a few seconds. This has led to addiction groups and government entities to work to lower the maximum bets.