Paddy Power Betfair stands by FOBTs judgement

Peter Jackson

The governance of FTSE100 betting group Paddy Power Betfair Plc (PPB) has restated its support of the government’s £2 cut on FOBTs machine wagering.

Issuing a corporate update, following yesterday’s DCMS triennial review judgement, PPB governance stated that the drastic FOBTs cut would not change the firm’s UK retail strategy.

Updating the market, PPB estimates a 33-43% decline in total machine gaming revenues, which referencing 2017 would have equated to a revenue impact of £35 – £46 million, representing 2-2.6% of group revenues.

Last September, PPB governance broke away from industry consensus, as outgoing Chief Executive Breon Corcoran stated that DCMS should proceed with its significant reduction on FOBTs machine wagers.

Corcoran would be lambasted by independent bookmakers, who accused PPB’s former leader of hijacking DCMS review, in order to gain a favourable outcome which would suit the FTSE betting group’s long-term growth strategy.

Issuing a short statement, PPB governance stated that its retail division had developed a strong sports-led proposition, delivering best market prices, which would be able to mitigate UK FOBTs impacts.

Peter Jackson Paddy Power Betfair’s CEO, said: “We have previously highlighted our concern that the wider gambling industry has suffered reputational damage as a result of the widespread unease over stake limits on gaming machines. We welcome, therefore, the significant intervention by the Government today, and believe this is a positive development for the long-term sustainability of the industry.”

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