Bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral may adapt its retail strategy, focusing on converting a number of its betting shops into Adult Gaming Centres (AGC), commonly referred to as arcades.
At present, the FTSE betting group has the highest betting shop exposure, in relation to the government’s pending triennial review crackdown on FOBTs wagering levels and sector advertising standards.
Should the government impose a ‘nightmare judgement’ of reducing FOBTs wagers to below the £10 stake limit, Ladbrokes Coral’s +3000 UK retail portfolio would become a corporate burden, with City analysts forecasting a + £450 million loss in annual FOBTs revenues.
As the triennial review judgement draws to its long-awaited conclusion, the governance of Ladbrokes Coral has been assessing its retail options.
Under UK gambling laws, Ladbrokes Coral may seek to convert a number of its betting shops into arcades which primarily service category C&D gaming machines (fruit machines).
Current AGC laws, allow for licensed premises to operate up to 20% of their games inventory with category B3 & B4 gaming machines slot machines featuring limited stakes and fixed prizes.
Speaking to SBC, a Ladbrokes retail spokesperson detailed; “Betting shops are the bread and butter of our high street offering. As with any business, we are continually looking for ways to better utilise our estate, including a limited trial of re-opening empty shops to improve our customer offer”.
Should Ladbrokes Coral move to convert a number of its betting shops to arcades, the FTSE betting firm would become the first UK industry operator to have LBO/AGC presence.