Sales At Ladbrokes And Coral Tumble Following FOBT Crackdown
Betting operator GVC has revealed sales from its betting shops have dropped since the introduction of a stake limit on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
The operator, which owns Ladbrokes and Coral, has said its UK retail net gaming revenue dropped 19% this year in the three months ending June 30 after the UK Government’s decision to decrease the maximum stake allowed on FOBTs from £100 to £2.
According to City AM, GVC sales from UK machines dropped 39% on a like-for-like basis. But the firm said the drop wasn’t as bad as it had initially feared as punters have seemingly turned to online gambling. GVC reports a 3% increase in its overall net gaming revenue in the second quarter of 2019, and a 5% increase in the first half of the year.
Despite the crackdown on FOBTs, GVC reported growth in its online net gaming revenue which increased by 17%. This is spurred on by the firm’s expansion into the US market with Roar Digital, a joint online sports betting venture from MGM and GVC.
Chief Executive Kenneth Alexander said in a statement: “The transition to a post-£2 stakes-cut environment in UK retail is progressing very well and we believe the Ladbrokes Coral estate is best placed to take market share. In the US, Roar Digital, our JV with MGM Resorts, is on-track for its full online launch ahead of the NFL season in September.”
The maximum stake restriction was introduced by the UK Government back in April despite protests from bookmakers which claimed the cut would cause shops to close all over the UK. GVC rival William Hill revealed earlier this month that it will be closing around 700 of its betting shops due to FOBTs cut.
The bookmaker announced it had experienced a fall in revenue since the cuts and would be putting over 4,000 jobs at risk due to its shop closures which are expected to begin before 2020.
Betfred, meanwhile, suggested it may have to close up to 5,000 employees decreasing its employee numbers by up to 2,500. These closures could reportedly affect up to 12,500 employees within the gambling industry.