Bet terminal issues in UK
March 06, 2018 3:00 AM
by Robert Mann
As the government in the United Kingdom mulls over a proposal to severely slash betting limits on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT’s), UK’s biggest bookmaker, Ladbrokes Coral, says it will have to cut the £8M ($11 million US) it spends yearly on sponsoring sports events if new rules on the popular gaming machines are too stringent.
The government is currently deciding whether to cut maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals from £100 ($138 US) to as little as £2 ($2.76 US) to fight problem gambling.
The company says more than half its betting shop revenue comes via the machines and a dramatic drop in income means cuts are made elsewhere.
Almost half of Ladbrokes’s sponsorship budget is earmarked for horse racing and includes the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival (a two day meeting at Newbury), the Coral Scottish and Welsh Grand Nationals, the Coral Cup (Wednesday at Cheltenham), the Coral Eclipse (one of the biggest flat races of the year) and the Coral Sprint at York.
Ladbrokes also sponsors the Rugby Football League Challenge Cup and the Scottish Professional Football League as well as snooker and darts.
A Ladbrokes statement said, “A severe stake cut has many implications not least on jobs, the treasury and the sports we support. Sports sponsorship is a two-way street, yes we get exposure but it also helps sports finance their entire structures right down to grass-roots funding.”
William Hill, another prominent UK bookmaking firm, also says its sponsorship of horse racing could be “at risk” if the limits on FOBTs are set too low.