Ladbrokes roulette winnings up
Ladbrokes has enjoyed another sharp rise in the take from its 8,200 touch-screen roulette terminals in betting shops, up 26% for the first four months of 2008 after they were upgraded last year.
Average gross take on a Ladbrokes machine increased from £538 to £673 a week, compared with average weekly takings from a pub fruit machine of less than £225, according to industry figures.
The Gambling Commission is reviewing all high-stakes slot machines in the UK. A previous investigation found one in nine playing on these machines was a problem gambler. The commission is not expected to report until next April; in the meantime, an all-party parliamentary group on betting is also looking at machines and is expected to give its views shortly.
A loophole in regulations allowed bookmakers to introduce roulette terminals seven years ago and the 2005 Gambling Act brought them within a formal regulatory code. Nevertheless, ministers have repeatedly said they are “on probation”.
Some believe banning touch-screen roulette would make many shops unprofitable and push several operators out of business. A ban would also wipe out the Treasury’s duty revenues.
[Extract from full article by
By Simon Bowers
Saturday May 17 2008