FOBT Changes Will Open Up Betting Loophole Says Playtech Boss

Playtech chief executive Mor Weizer believes the government’s crackdown on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) will push operators to exploit a loophole in the system.

Mor Weizer Playtech.

Playtech chief executive Mor Weizer believes FOBT restrictions will lead to rise in sports betting terminals. (Image: YouTube/                                                                                                                        

With an announcement on the fate of high street betting terminals imminent, Playtech’s boss has told Reuters that any action would simply force a change of tactic.

“I believe that if FOBTs would be impacted, self-service betting terminals (SSBTs), a similar machine for sporting results, would enjoy additional benefits,” Weizer explained in a recent interview with Reuters.

Are Sports Betting Terminals the Future?

As it stands, there are no restrictions on the number of SSBTs a betting shop can offer. Because of this, the man in charge of the industry’s largest software provider believes that bookmakers would simply replace FOBTs with sports-based options.

Since setting out to address growing concerns over FOBTs, the government has looked at a number of proposals. Although an outright ban has never been seriously considered, it’s expected that an ongoing review will suggest a reduction in stakes.

Under the current dynamics, players can stake a maximum of £100 per round. From this, British punters have wagered billions each year, with 2017’s figures showing that £13.8 billion had been bet over the course of a year.

While a final decision is yet to be made, rumours from inside Westminster have hinted that the maximum bet will be reduced to £2. If that happens, representatives from the British Horseracing Association (BHA) believe it could have an impact on the betting industry at large.

“We recognise the strong contribution betting makes to our sport so we are very clear with government that if it were to go to a £2 maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals it would have a significant impact in the short and medium term on British racing,” BHA chief executive Nick Rust told At the Races.

Changes Could be Ideal for Play tech

Any change to FOBTs will clearly hit the leading bookmakers, but quite how much remains to be seen. What is likely, however, is that companies such as Playtech could be more in demand over the coming months.

With expertise in crafting gaming software across all betting disciplines, Playtech will be one of the go-to providers for any company wanting to offer sports -focused terminals. If that proves to be the case, it couldn’t come at the better time for the software developer.

In its latest revenue report, Playtech outlined an 11 percent drop in revenue so far this year. Due to increased efforts by the Malaysian government to stop players anteing up online, the company has suffered £25 million in losses at the start of 2018.

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