Following the leaked Ladbrokes document that shows the countries second largest bookmaker made £1 billion in a month from the highly controversial Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), David Cameron the UK’s Prime Minister will announce stronger penalties for any bookmaker that fails to enforce maximum playing times and loses for gamblers on the machines.
The leaked internal memo from Ladbrokes shows that the new rules coming in would not affect bookmakers as 92% of customers playing FOBTs do not play longer than 30 minutes consecutively.
Even the alarm on players losing over £250 stopping them playing and alerting a member of staff would not work as The Ladbrokes analysis shows that the average loss per “60-minute or over” session of roulette is a little more than £93, well below the cap proposed.
The Ladbrokes memo which showed in April 2013 that gamblers had played their FOBTs 4.8 million times, staking £1bn, over a four-week period.
Over the last four years, annual player losses from the fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) have risen from £1.3billion to around £1.5billion.
And last year the gambling industry regulator warned that the machines expose ‘even normal leisure gamblers to potentially harmful rates of loss whether or not they would be classified as problem gamblers’.
The latest news on Ladbrokes is another blow for the struggling bookmaker whose Chief Executive is already under fire and has until this summer’s world cup to turn around the companies fortunes and try to catch up with William Hill in both its online and retail businesses.