Bookmakers Shares Take A Knock After Lawmakers Call For Maximum Stake On Online Gambling Products

MP’s have recommended the Government to reduce stakes on online gambling products along with levies and a ban on credit card payments, in a bid to reduce the risks to vulnerable gamblers.

Share Prices Dropped

The Gambling Related Harm all-party parliamentary group (GRH) has suggested the maximum deposits on gambling products to be set at £2, bringing it in line with FOBT’s maximum bet, which was drastically reduced from £100 down to £2 in April this year.After the news broke, bookmaker shares dropped with Ladbrokes owner GVC Holdings shares drop 12%, followed by a 9% drop for William hill, a 5% drop for both 888 Holdings and the Rank Group.Profits have already been severely affected by the decision to cut the maximum stake on FOBT’s with three major high street bookies closing branches throughout the UK, with job losses inevitable.In a report issued by the parliamentary group, they recommend the Government match the maximum bets on gambling products and also an ‘urgent need’ to ban credit card usage, to stop players generating debts to fuel their addiction.

‘Not Fit For Purpose’

They have also advised a ‘smart statutory levy’ of 1% to be compulsory in order to fund the research of gambling help groups. GambleAware and the Gambling Commission research to be transferred to UK independent research councils after the GRH deemed the UK Gambling Commission as ‘not fit for purpose’.Rt Hon Ian Duncan Smith, vice chair of GRH said,“ It’s clear from this enquiry that the powers of the Gambling Commission need to be significantly strengthened. For too long, online gambling operators have exploited vulnerable gamblers to little or no retribution from the regulator.“ I therefore urge the commission to look into this issue in greater depth. It is outrageous there are no stake limits online, the gamblers are still able to gamble using credit cards online and that operators are able to continue to offer inducements to the vulnerable without proper sanction.”During the six-month enquiry, the GRH have recommended more affordability checks to be carried out by banks, a more responsible approach to advertising and a duty of care by gambling operators.

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