Betfred managing director urges employees to oppose cut to £100 FOBT stake

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Betfred’s managing director has urged workers to foyer their MP to oppose the anticipated minimize to the £100 stake punters can wager each 20 seconds on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), a leaked e-mail has revealed.

Fastened-odd betting machines have been referred to as the “crack-cocaine” of playing. They permit gamblers to guess with excessive stakes and critics say they’re extremely addictive and a “social blight”.

It’s believed Treasury-backed plans to impose a £2 most stake are being thought of, following a overview, with a choice understood to be imminent.

The playing business has launched a last-ditch marketing campaign to forestall the transfer, citing disputed figures – which have been discredited from throughout the business – that declare 21,000 jobs would subsequently be in danger.

“This might have a major affect on the viability of the variety of our outlets and subsequently employment in our companies – it’s not too late to warn your MP of the unintended penalties of such a drastic minimize,” reads the e-mail despatched to Betfred workers from Mark Stebbings, the managing director.

“Merely fill within the postcode of the place you reside, the system will establish who your native MP is, then fill in your contact particulars and press ship – the letter is already written for you and it will likely be emailed to your MP.”

The e-mail leaked to The Unbiased seems to point out Betfred’s managing director urging workers to foyer their MP

The pre-written e-mail, beneath an e-mail with the topic “21,000 jobs are at stake”, incorporates a hyperlink to the Again Your Native Bookie web site, a marketing campaign arrange by the Affiliation of British Bookmakers.

“That is unfair not solely to the bulk who gamble responsibly but additionally to my native betting store and the workers who work there,” Betfred workers are urged to say.

Nevertheless, an MP mentioned the true danger to jobs in bookmakers is the introduction of self-service betting terminals to outlets, which might quickly see them fully unmanned.

“This can be a last-minute determined try to cease the inevitable,” mentioned Carolyn Harris, a Labour MP who has campaigned for playing reform.

“The introduction of self-service betting terminals to bookmakers’ outlets would be the key driver of any future job losses, not a £2 most stake.”

“That is one other traditional instance of the business defending earnings, not individuals; whether or not workers or punters.”

Bookmakers have minimize the variety of workers of their outlets over the previous decade, with a lot of them now single-manned for big durations through the day – one thing beforehand remarkable.

It has been reported that Betfred workers have been informed simply previous to Christmas that their pay could be minimize and thereafter linked to fixed-odd terminal earnings, whereas different jobs have been positioned on discover.

Betfred workers, a lot of whom are on the minimal wage, have additionally been supplied high-interest loans at 39.9 per cent APR, on the workers intranet from an organization owned by the corporate’s billionaire proprietor Fred Accomplished.

Final 12 months, Mr Accomplished was the 22nd highest donor to the Conservative Celebration, giving £250,000.

A Marketing campaign for Fairer Playing spokesperson mentioned: “After years of treating their workers appallingly, and reducing jobs whereas rising the variety of FOBTs, Betfred at the moment are attempting to blackmail their workers into lobbying MPs in opposition to a discount to £2 a spin.”

There are no less than 34,388 machines in bookmakers’ outlets, that are clustered in low revenue areas, and have grow to be a staple of the excessive road.

For instance, there are greater than twice as many machines in Bethnal Inexperienced and Bow as in Chelsea and Fulham and, accordingly, greater than twice as a lot is gambled on them.

Bethnal Inexperienced and Bow even have greater than thrice as many individuals claiming unemployment advantages as Chelsea and Fulham, figures from 2014 confirmed.

British gamblers lose £1.8bn on FOBTs yearly, up 73 per cent since 2009, regardless of the variety of machines rising by simply 9 per cent – indicating individuals are dropping ever bigger sums.

Every machine rakes in a median of £52,887 a 12 months, which quantities to round twice the nationwide common wage.

There are 2.three million individuals susceptible to creating a playing habit within the UK, together with as much as 560,000 downside gamblers.

Multiple in 10, 11.5 per cent, of the individuals who use FOBT machines in bookmakers are downside gamblers.

There have been greater than 230,000 particular person periods in 2016 the place punters misplaced greater than £1,000 on the machines.

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