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Fixed Odds machines

RobM

55 years as a supporter!⭐
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I have never used one and have no intention either but it's a hot topic in the media at the moment.

Some geezer on 5Live said words to the effect that if the maximum stake was lowered from £100 to £2 it would cost 12,000 jobs. Doesn't he mean "Profits would drop and it will affect my bonus"? Or am I just being cynical?
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
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These machines are keeping a lot of betting shops open. They account for at least half of the profits in every shop and significantly more in some cases.

So if the max stake on the FOBTs went down to £2 (although I think it'll be more like £10, with an additional restriction on the spin speed) then a lot of betting shops will become unprofitable and a lot will close.
 

RobM

55 years as a supporter!⭐
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Messages
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These machines are keeping a lot of betting shops open. They account for at least half of the profits in every shop and significantly more in some cases.

So if the max stake on the FOBTs went down to £2 (although I think it'll be more like £10, with an additional restriction on the spin speed) then a lot of betting shops will become unprofitable and a lot will close.

Do you wonder if there are too may betting shops anyway (I'm not wishing people out of work though)? A bit like charity shops , seems they are everywhere!
 

Firestorm

Pedant
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Oct 25, 2003
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Immersed in the accounts
How many are addicted to these machines and ruining their lives ? and will this actually stop the gambling and prevent some of those getting addicted ? or will they just find another way ?
 

RobM

55 years as a supporter!⭐
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How many are addicted to these machines and ruining their lives ? and will this actually stop the gambling and prevent some of those getting addicted ? or will they just find another way ?

Maybe that idea (reduce the stake) will make them less appealing. I don't know. There was a guy on the R5 programme that said he'd lost £300,000, his house, wife, everything. Gambling seems to be the new scourge. Every time you watch TV there are gambling ad's. Even on youtube.
 

davewebbsbrain

Webby⭐
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Aug 17, 2005
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Eastwood
Maybe that idea (reduce the stake) will make them less appealing. I don't know. There was a guy on the R5 programme that said he'd lost £300,000, his house, wife, everything. Gambling seems to be the new scourge. Every time you watch TV there are gambling ad's. Even on youtube.

You'd have to be desperate to gamble your wife
 

londonblue

Topgun Pilot
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Messages
16,255
These machines are keeping a lot of betting shops open. They account for at least half of the profits in every shop and significantly more in some cases.

So if the max stake on the FOBTs went down to £2 (although I think it'll be more like £10, with an additional restriction on the spin speed) then a lot of betting shops will become unprofitable and a lot will close.

The problem though, is that there is a restriction on the number of FOBTs that can be installed in any one betting shop. Therefore chains seem to open multiple branches relatively close by. If the max. stake was reduced it would obviously reduce the number of betting shops, but would that just bring the numbers down to a more "acceptable" level?

I really don't know the answer, but I remember feeling uncomfortable when Labour relaxed the regulations on these machines. It was one of the few decisions of their's that I disagreed with at the time.
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
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Do you wonder if there are too may betting shops anyway (I'm not wishing people out of work though)? A bit like charity shops , seems they are everywhere!

There are no more than there were ten years ago. And at around 8,500, we are well short of the 1970s peak of over 10,000.

There is just a perception that there are more nowadays as, due to low rents, bookmakers have been able to move more on to the high streets. Many shops in housing estates have closed and been replaced by these new high street locations.

How many there should be - I'm not sure. What I do know is that there will be closures and I hope the staff are well looked after by their employees.
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
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The problem though, is that there is a restriction on the number of FOBTs that can be installed in any one betting shop. Therefore chains seem to open multiple branches relatively close by. If the max. stake was reduced it would obviously reduce the number of betting shops, but would that just bring the numbers down to a more "acceptable" level?

I really don't know the answer, but I remember feeling uncomfortable when Labour relaxed the regulations on these machines. It was one of the few decisions of there's that I disagreed with at the time.

And indeed they have tried to get round those restrictions (four per shop) at times by trying to open massive shops with dual licences. That didn't work, but opening of some very small premises (e.g. Ladbrokes at Victoria Station, where there is one 'normal' shop and one about the size of a Timpson's kiosk) did.

What is intriguing is how behaviour might change. It's easy to say this business will just go online, and much of it will, but the anonymous nature of cash betting in shops is a big plus for many punters.
 

RobM

55 years as a supporter!⭐
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There are no more than there were ten years ago. And at around 8,500, we are well short of the 1970s peak of over 10,000.
Seems not; "The Gambling Commission reports that there were 33,319 FOBTs in Britain's Betting Offices between October 2011 & September 2012".
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
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NY Parks Dept
Seems not; "The Gambling Commission reports that there were 33,319 FOBTs in Britain's Betting Offices between October 2011 & September 2012".

Not quite sure how that disproves what I'm saying. Nearly every shop has four FOBTs - those that don't, it is purely down to lack of space - so divide that number by around 3.75 and you'll get a rough estimate of the number of betting shops at that time.

Anyway, most recent UKGC figures (March 2017) state that there are 8,788 betting shops in the UK, down 1.4% from the March 2016. Half a year on, that number is probably slightly lower still as rising costs are forcing many independent operators to pack up.
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
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NY Parks Dept

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
23,031
Location
NY Parks Dept
PS I massively under cooked the number of shops there used to be. It was as high as 16,000 back in the 1970s/80s.
 

MK Shrimper

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
52,348
There are no more than there were ten years ago. And at around 8,500, we are well short of the 1970s peak of over 10,000.

There is just a perception that there are more nowadays as, due to low rents, bookmakers have been able to move more on to the high streets. Many shops in housing estates have closed and been replaced by these new high street locations.

How many there should be - I'm not sure. What I do know is that there will be closures and I hope the staff are well looked after by their employees.

In these times there were not machine that would accept credit card payments of £100s of pounds every minute. They should be banned.
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
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NY Parks Dept
In these times there were not machine that would accept credit card payments of £100s of pounds every minute. They should be banned.

Small point of order - these don't accept credit card payments either; credit cards aren't allowed in retail betting.

But there should certainly be further restrictions on them; whether that be max stake, permitted regularity of spins, types of games available, etc.
 

RobM

55 years as a supporter!⭐
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Small point of order - these don't accept credit card payments either; credit cards aren't allowed in retail betting.

But there should certainly be further restrictions on them; whether that be max stake, permitted regularity of spins, types of games available, etc.

Does that imply debit cards are taken?
 

MK Shrimper

Well-known member
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Messages
52,348
Small point of order - these don't accept credit card payments either; credit cards aren't allowed in retail betting.

But there should certainly be further restrictions on them; whether that be max stake, permitted regularity of spins, types of games available, etc.

Debit cards then. All plastic. I know you work in the industry Leo, but they're horrendous things that should be outlawed.
 
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Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
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NY Parks Dept
Debit cards then. All plastic. I know you work in the industry Leo, but they'll horrendous things that should be outlawed.

You may well be right. I'll admit that my view may be coloured by (a) the industry in which I work and (b) a general wariness about banning entertainment/lifestyle choices.

And on point (b) I was massively wrong when I opposed banning smoking in public places so maybe I'm off kilter again here.

I am keen that everyone can make a decision based on facts though. Hence looking to correct claims about credit cards being used in shops, shop numbers increasing, etc.
 
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