bacta Commissions report on £2 FBOT Stake

10/01/2018

bacta has commissioned a report which shows that the impact of a lower B2 stake will impact bookmakers far less than estimates have suggested.

The report which was undertaken independently by economists at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), was released today and  projects that industry losses from a £2 stake could be up to 47% lower than suggested by the Government’s initial impact assessment, with a £335m reduction in annual Gross Gambling Yield to high street betting shops, against the Government’s estimate of £639m.

These figures could be offset when compared to the £210m, which the report estimates as the fiscal cost of problem gambling associated with FOBTs once its impact on welfare services, work and housing issues, and criminality have been taken into account. Furthermore, it also found that there would be overall benefit to the economy should FOBT stakes be reduced to £2, with an estimated net increase of £45m to gross value added (GVA).

FOBTs, of which there are over 33,000 in betting shops across the UK, have come under widespread criticism for encouraging high-stakes gambling and exposing consumers to the risk of gambling harm. In 2015/6, there were over 230,000 individual sessions in which a user lost over £1,000. The current FOBT stake maximum of £100 is fifty times higher than that of other widely available gaming machines.

Bacta strongly supports evidence-based policy making and foresee this report as being a significant contribution to the debate on FOBTs and the Government’s consultation on its proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures. 

The report can be accessed here CEBR Report final Jan 2018

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