Sunday April 6,2014 : F.O.B.T. MANUFACTURERS TO MEET WITH U.K. GOVERNMENT
Stiff additional taxation – and some anomalies – to head the agenda.
UK companies involved in the manufacture of the controversial Fixed Odds Betting Terminals found in UK betting shops are to meet with British government officials on the recent imposition of punitive tax rates, reports the publication This Is Money.
FOBTs have become the subject of intense media and political debate over contested claims that they are addictive, appear to be targeted on residential areas whose occupants least can afford to play them, and are becoming increasingly common with the expansion of betting shops.
This Is Money reports that manufacturers SG Gaming (formerly Global Draw) and Inspired Gaming (owned by private equity firm Vitruvian Partners) will meet with Helen Grant, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Equalities, on Tuesday in a bid to get the government to relax its stance, arguing that the FOBT industry is being unfairly targeted.
The companies will also flag what they believe to be an anomaly in the tax structures announced in the UK budget recently, where the Chancellor increased the machine gaming duty paid by bookmarkers on their betting terminals to 25 percent, but slashed bingo tax to just 10 percent.
This means that a customer can now play exactly the same game on the same machine, for the same stake in a bingo club at a 10 percent rate but if played in a betting shop it will cost the operator 25 percent of gross profits.
SG Gaming’s managing director Phil Horne told This Is Money: "We were concerned that a lot of decisions were taken without examining the data, so we’re pleased the government is happy to talk through some of the issues with us."