Betfred and Paddy Power may still want to face motion from the Gambling Commission after taking flight merchandise launched in the wake of the brand new £2 most stake on FOBTs following a warning from the regulator. The fee was continuing to examine the problem and stated it may additionally inspect key senior team of workers responsible for bringing the goods to the marketplace. A third bookmaker, which became additionally poised to launch a new product understood to be William Hill, has additionally been warned.
Maximum FOBT stakes were formally reduced to £2 from £one hundred on Monday. The commission stated it became involved the brand new products undermined the exchange added in through the government to claim the machines caused gambling-related damage. Betfred delivered a digital cycling sport-based totally on a roulette wheel with a stake of £500. Paddy’s Power’s Pick ‘n’ 36 games also allowed customers to bet on numbers among one 36 with a most stake of £a hundred. Both concerned clients setting bets over the counter.
Last weekend, Gambling Commission chief government Neil McArthur wrote to bookmakers cautioning them no longer to avert the FOBT stake reduction. The regulator’s govt director for enforcement Richard Watson stated on Tuesday: “We’ve been certainly clear with operators about our expectations to act responsibly following the stake cut implementation this week. “We’ve informed operators about taking down new products which undermine the modifications, and we’re going to inspect some other merchandise now not within the spirit and aim of the brand new guidelines.”
High-street bookmakers have warned the curbs on FOBTs will make many having a bet store unprofitable, main to huge closures and the loss of heaps of jobs. A spokesman for Betfred stated on Tuesday: “This week having bet shops have gone via a seismic trade and plenty of will now not be feasible given the new restrictions on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. “In a try to grow our over-the-counter business, we’ve therefore brought several unique gives on a wide variety of sports activities, and have additionally made over our virtual channel with new digital horseracing and a brand new virtual biking recreation.
“Bets for this kind of merchandise need to be stuffed out on a making a bet slip and passed over on the counter, wherein our body of workers can engage with the customers as they accomplish that. These aren’t device video games but over-the-counter bets.” However, he brought: “We eliminated the digital biking product and all associated marketing early this morning after discussions with the Gambling Commission.”
A spokesperson for Paddy Power said on Tuesday: “We provide our retail customers more than a few range-based totally having a bet merchandise and this [Pick ‘n’ 36] sport turned into introduced as a part of a short trial in a spread of stores. This trial concluded in advance today, and we will now verify client response and feedback.”
Bookmakers got here in for robust criticism from Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson, who accused them of trying to cheat the machine. He said: “They surely haven’t found out any classes – if they won’t reform themselves, a Labour government is decided to do it for them.”