Gambling Regulators Accuse Bookies Of Cheating FOBTs Rules

Two of the UK’s biggest high street bookmakers Paddy Power and Betfred have been accused of swerving new rules introduced yesterday on FOBT’s maximum bet from £100 to just £2. The ruling was introduced as FOBT’S have been described by the Government as ‘Social Blight’, having been blamed for huge gambling losses and highly addictive to gamblers.

Swerving FOBT’s Ruling

However, yesterday the Guardian reported the two bookies mentioned have introduced Roulette-style games which critics described as ‘ FOBTs by the back door’.Paddy Power’s new game called “ Pick ‘n’ 36” offers a maximum stake of £100, the maximum stake is the same as the FOBT’s, which has now been banned. Punter can bet on numbers between 1 and 36 not dissimilar to Roulette.A Paddy Power employee has revealed the game had been rolled out in a number of their betting shops, the game has a slower pace with gameplay running every three minutes, FOBT’s offer new spins every 20 seconds.Betfred also launched their Roulette style game called “Virtual Cycling”. Again bets are made on cyclist overtaking competitors with corresponding numbers on the track. Bets have to be made on paper slips and handed in over the counter. The slips depict Roulette –styled table and maximum stakes are considerably higher at £500, compared to the £100 FOBT’s maximum bet.A Betfred spokesperson said, the game offers over-the-counter bets and not a machine type game.


The new games do actually comply with laws regarding FOBT’s, but MP’s are blaming companies for deliberately bypassing the new rules.It has been reported William Hill, another huge UK bookmaker is considering launching their own Roulette-styled game called “Wonderball”. The max stake in the game would be £50, on a print out Roulette board players fill in the boxes with the draws taking place on TV Screens, maximum prize wins could amount to £25,000.The introduction of FOBT’s maximum stakes now slashed to £2 had caused concern amongst high street bookmakers, fearing mass redundancies were imminent with betting shops across the country closing their doors. We will have to see how the new ruling will affect our high street bookmakers and hopefully jobs and shop closures will not be a result of the new ruling.    

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