Industry to discuss future of high street bookies at special event

Industry to discuss future of high street bookies at special event

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Posted by News Team
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Event takes place at London's Soho House Hotel this Thursday (September 13th)

The UK retail betting sector is to meet at a special event taking place this Thursday to discuss the industry’s future in the wake of the decision to slash B2 gaming machine stakes to £2. 

The decision by the UK government to cut maximum stakes for so-called fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2 in May is widely expected to be a watershed moment for the industry. The sector’s leading retail betting brands have already warned that the move will force many into shop closures, putting thousands of jobs at risk. 

Against this backdrop, Clear Concise Media, in conjunction with industry intelligence specialist Gambling Compliance and law firm Wiggin LLP, has organised an event as a platform to discuss where the sector goes from here. 

The event, which takes place at the Soho House Hotel in London on Thursday September 13th, brings together operators, suppliers and service providers to explore how the sector can reposition itself operationally and strategically.

“For all that the anti-FOBT movement accused the bookmakers of using project fear tactics, the industry will certainly see huge changes in the years to come, not least when it comes to potential shop closures,” Clear Concise Media director Scott Longley said. “This event will be a chance for stakeholders to articulate and discuss how they think the sector can and will adapt.”

Gambling Compliance head of research Andrew Gellatly added: “The UK’s retail betting sector continues to face heightened political and regulatory risks that have not been ended by the Triennial Review, and they will need to adapt and find new ways to achieve their aims.”

Speakers at the event include operator and industry association staff such as William Hill director of strategy and sustainability Lyndsay Wright, Alizeti Capital chief executive Alex Frost and British Horseracing Authority CEO Nick Rust. 

The event will see product suppliers such as Playtech BGT Sports, SG Gaming and SIS will also share their thoughts on the incoming changes on a panel discussion. Analysts including Canaccord Genuity’s Simon Davies, Goodbody Stockbrokers’ Gavin Kelliher and Diane Wehrle of retail intelligence provider Springboard will look to set out the challenges facing the sector. 

The regulation cutting the B2 stakes will also be scrutinised by a panel featuring Stephen Ketteley from organisers Wiggin LLP. Ketteley will be joined with Senet Group chair Gillian Wilmott and Playtech global head of regulatory and compliance affairs Ian Ince for the discussion. 

“The gambling industry has been in the political spotlight for some time. Now that the consequences of the Triennial Review are clear (albeit that the timings are currently less clear), the retail betting sector needs to prepare for the future,” said Ketteley. “While this will mean addressing some of the negativity surrounding the industry, it also creates an opportunity for the bookies to innovate and offer a product suite that today's punter wants on the high street.” 

The event is taking place at Soho House Hotel this Thursday, September 13th. Those interested in attending can view the programme and register their interest here.

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