There’s no question that the UK government has declared war on regulated gambling. Between handing out fines for absurd “violations” of advertising codes and cracking down on bonus offers, this war has made life extremely difficult for licensed operators. But none of these recent actions has had the visceral hit that the reduction in stakes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), as is witnessed by a recent announcement from GVC Holdings.

GVC, which also operates Ladbrokes and Coral, is planning on closing 900 of its retail betting shops due to revenue losses from the FOBT stake change. As the shops shutter their doors, around 5,000 employees will lose their livelihoods.

An official from GVC told SBC News the news in a statement saying, “We now expect up to 900 shops to be at risk of closure, affecting up to 5,000 roles, over the next two years as a result of the reduction in maximum stakes on FOBTs to £2 that came into force on 1st April, and there are a number of shops that have been identified for closure as part of this process.”

As bad as the closing of 900 gambling shops sounds to the casual observer, things could have been considerably worse for the company. In their original projections, they thought they might lose 1,000 shops. The same dynamic applies to their revenue losses which were predicted to be £145 million ($181 million USD) as a result of the stake change, but have only been £120 million ($150 million).

A spokesman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) offered little in the way of sympathy for the newly unemployed workers saying, “The gambling industry has had over a year to make preparations for this change, including to mitigate job losses. We now expect them to provide the right support to any staff affected by planned shop closures.”


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