British Bookmakers Furious Over Government’s FOBT Report

British bookmakers have hit out at a government report that aims to determine the true impact of fixed-odd betting terminals (FOBTs) in the UK.

Malcolm George Association of British Bookmakers.

Malcolm George of the Association of British Bookmakers calls for an investigation into a recent FOBT report. (Image: abb.uk.com)

With pressure from anti-gambling lobbyists mounting, a cross-party parliamentary group was ordered to review the industry and produce a report.

The initial findings of the report were published in December, 2016, but recent comments by the group have prompted a stern response from the chief executive of the Association of British Bookmakers, Malcolm George.

MPs Want to Crackdown on FOBTs

With the report suggesting a maximum stake of £2 and a lack of cooperation from bookmakers, Malcolm believes an investigation needs to take place. Fearing the report is based on nothing more than the opinions of certain MPs, Malcolm and members of the Association feel it could unfairly scar the industry.

“This group of MPs has operated in secrecy, provided no transcripts of the evidence given to their meetings and operated throughout behind closed doors away from public scrutiny,” Malcolm told the press.

At this stage, the findings of the report are up for debate and nothing will change for the time being. However, with the parliamentary group appearing to echo the sentiments of anti-gambling advocates who say FOBTs are blighting Britain’s high streets, we could soon see a dramatic change in the way these games are offered.

Brit Almost Wins Aussie Millions Poker Main Event

In other UK betting news this week, a poker player from Brighton narrowly missed out on his first major poker title. Ben Heath entered the A$10,600 (£6,388) Aussie Millions Main Event with just under £800,000 in live poker earnings.

However, after outlasting the likes of Fedor Holz and Jeff Rossiter, Heath found himself just one player away from the title. Unfortunately, a daring bluff in the latter stages of the tournament saw his chances of a £964,000 payday slip away.

With nothing but king-high on a 6h 9s 7s 3h Qd board, Heath moved all-in for his tournament life against Australia’s Shurane Vijayaram. After sitting in the tank for more than a minute with pocket fives, the hometown hero eventually made the call.

As the cards were turned on their backs, Vijayaram thumped the table in excitement before walking over to shake heath’s hand. Although the Brit’s audacious move didn’t pay off, he still managed to bank one million Aussie dollars (£602,000) and take his career earnings beyond the £1 million mark.

Aussie Millions Main Event Result

1. Shurane Vijayaram – £964,000

2. Ben Heath – £602,000

3. Tobias Hausen – £373,000

4. Jeff Rossiter – £265,000

5. Fedor Holz – £202,000

6. David Olson – £162,000

7. Luke Roberts – £126,000

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