Thursday, March 30, 2023


UK taxman’s VAT appeal on FOBTs dismissed

Lorien Pilling GBGC HMRC VAT tribunal comment
The Upper Tribunal has dismissed HMRC’s appeal relating to the VAT treatment of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) - write GBGC’s Lorien Pilling - which could lead to VAT refunds for the UK’s bookmakers.

William Hill posts £63.5m H1 loss

william hill fobt
William Hill posted a £63.5m loss for the first half of the year as the company adjusts to the FOBT maximum stake cut. A one-off accounting charge relating to the FOBT maximum stake reduction has seen bookmakers William Hill post a £63.5m loss for the first half of calendar year 2019. The company posted a one-off accounting charge of £97.1m mitigating...

William Hill looks to close 700 UK locations

william hill fobt
William Hill that it could close up to 700 branches by the end of the year. The firm is currently consulting on plans to downsize its UK estate following a "significant fall" in gaming machines revenues. A company statement read: "William Hill has entered into a consultation process with retail colleagues over plans to close around 700 licensed betting offices. "This follows the...

GBGC maps variation in FOBT fallout

GBGC maps variation in FOBT fallout
Two months on since the £2 FOBT stake was implemented, GBGC's Lorien Pilling looks at the early impact on bookmakers across the country.

FOBT lobby rebrands to address online gambling

FOBT, lobby, rebrands, online, gambling
Ahead of the March 31 FOBT stake cap, the UK Parliament's Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All-Party Parliamentary Group is to be reinstated, renamed and granted a wider remit. Becoming the APPG for Gam- bling-Related Harm, the committee will…

Analysts take a cautionary view of UK gaming in 2019

Analysts, UK, gaming, gambleaware, fobt
The sector’s top analysts look back at the best and worst of a year just passed - and how firms are likely to respond to the challenges ahead in 2019. GRANT HUMPHREY... ON POST- FOBT M&A DIRECTOR AT TRANSACTION ADVISORY SERVICES, EY People are generally…

FOBTs and High Street betting shops – time to re-examine business models?

High Street
With the incoming changes to FOBT stakes expected to result in widespread shop closures, Grant Humphrey, director at EY and leader of their Betting and Gaming practice, and Simon Edel, a Partner in EY’s restructuring practice, talk through some…

William Hill looks to US after £900m FOBT adjustment

With UK revenues increasingly tricky to come by, William Hill’s CEO Philip Bowcock says the US could one day become its largest market. In the meantime however, success across the pond is essential, if only to stand still. Success in America…

Playtech completes Snaitech acquisition with final 3.5 percent

Playtech has completed the $1bn take over of Italian betting and gaming operator Snaitech, acquiring the final 3.5 percent through its subsidiary Pluto SPA. The London-based operator finalised its purchase of Italy’s largest sports betting firm with a cash…

Bookmakers given 2020 reprieve on stake cut

FOBT machine
In a rare slice of positive news for Britain’s retail sector, the government has announced a two year delay before implementing the controversial £2 stake on fixed- odds betting terminals. The delays makes all the difference for betting shops, both…

BHA predicts rise in race bets in wake of FOBT capping

Horse Racing
The British Horseracing Association has predicted a growth in betting on the sport, following the government’s decision to limit maximum bets on fixed-odds betting terminals. The 17 May announcement to limit wagers on FOBTs to two pounds raised…

GBG chief urges industry to join forces on social responsibility post FOBT fight

Peter Hannibal GBG department
Peter Hannibal, CEO of the cross-sector strategic body, the Gambling Business Group, has warned that all forms of gambling are in danger of being treated similarly to the tobacco industry unless it starts to take the lead in improving social responsibility

Horse racing to become ‘more important to bookmakers’ amid FOBT stake uncertainty

Horse racing
With the UK betting industry waiting on tenterhooks for an announcement from the government over stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), the British Horse Authority (BHA) believes that horse racing is to become more important to gaming operators. The statement was made at the Asian Racing Conference in Seoul by Brant Dunshea, BHA’s newly appointed chief regulatory officer. Dunshea was...

Paddy Power Betfair calls for FOBT stakes reduction in shock announcement

paddy power betfair fobt
Paddy Power Betfair has become the first major bookmaker to announce its support for reducing FOBT maximum stake levels, leaving the industry dumbfounded.   Perhaps accepting the inevitable, the surprise decision comes weeks before the government’s highly-anticipated triennial review on gambling, in which FOBT stakes are expected to come under fire. Breon Corcoran, Paddy Power Betfair CEO, was previously “ambivalent" about the...

Ladbrokes Coral enlists bankers for advice before FOBT review

Betting Business FOBT review
Ladbrokes Coral is currently reviewing all corporate options in preparation for next month’s UK government triennial review of the industry FOBTs wagering and advertising standards.   Yesterday, the Sunday Times reported that the company’s governance has hired Deutsche Bank, Greenhill, and UBS as corporate advisers on "consolidation matters" in preparation for the government’s decision. The move follows concerns that the government will force...

FOBT review to be scrapped by UK chancellor

BBi - FOBT max stake review
A government review that was predicted to slash the maximum stake on fixed odd betting terminals has been dropped, said the Daily Mail on Saturday, as the treasury looks to shore up its tax take.   Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the exchequer, intervened in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s review suggesting it would be ‘financially crippling’ to tax revenues...

City fears the financial impact of an FOBT clampdown

Betting Business FOBT review
The potential change to legislation governing FOBTs in betting venues as part of the Triennial Review could see huge losses for companies such as Ladbrokes Coral.   A tightening of the regulations governing FOBTs in betting shops, could wipe a quarter off Ladbrokes Coral’s earnings, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph. The revenue from FOBTs accounts for 60% of...

Rumour mill: UK government may review FOBT policy

Betting Business fobt UK Government
According to one British tabloid, newly incumbent prime minister Theresa May has agreed to revisit the government’s stance on B2 gaming terminals.   The UK government has been rumoured to be contemplating a new review of its gambling legislation pertaining to the operation of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). According to a report in British tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail, the UK’s new...

Storm Gaming partner up to launch popular slot title on FOBTs

Storm Gaming Technology Colossus
Storm Gaming Technology has made further inroads into the UK’s B2/B3 FOBT estate alongside long-time partner CORE Gaming. August has seen the launch of joint development Colossus Fracpot onto the Inspired Gaming FOBT estate, which includes both William Hill and Paddy Power licensed betting offices. The game has already proved to be popular in the online and mobile spaces with Sky...