Ladbrokes is entangled in controversy following the leak of a document showing that the UK's second largest bookmaker has cashed-in £1billion in the frame of one month from Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs). An internal Ladbrokes memorandum has revealed a flabbergasting scale of profits made from FOBTs which have been already dubbed "the crack cocaine" of gambling.
Downing Street Planning to Crackdown on FOBTs
The issue of FOBTs has been in treatment of the UK government for long. The government has put on the table proposals aimed for the enforcement of harsh penalties for bookmakers who do not enforce limited playing times and gamblers' losses. The leaked memo has shown that such new rules, if passed, would not have a serious effect on bookmakers. This is due to the statistic showing that 92% of FOBTs players do not play longer than 30 minutes consecutively. That is, they gamble (and lose) in larger intervals.
An alarm activated when players lose over £250 is rendered ineffective to due to the information in the leaked document showing that the average loss of a player in the frame of one hour is a little more than £93, much lower than the set cap. The controversy was sparked mainly by a report in the leaked document from Ladbrokes showing that in April 2013, gamblers have played FOBTs over 4.8 million times, staking £1 billion in a period of four weeks alone.
Following the revelation of the document and the controversy that it has sparked, it was reported that Prime Minister David Cameron is due to announce a crackdown on these high-speed high-stakes FOBTs with fresh penalties for bookmakers who fail to enforce the rules.