A leak surfaced from an internal memo about UK’s leading bookmaker, Ladbrokes. It details the intention to close 1,000 of its outlets around Britain. The bookmaker is estimated to leave approximately 5,000 employees out of work. The Guardian newspaper broke the story after they got a hold of the document. Read on to find out what prompted the decision for the massive closure.
Ladbrokes Spokesperson Explains the Decision
According to a spokesperson from the sports betting giant, the pressure to close so many of their outlets – which make up just about 30% of its properties around the UK – was prompted by changes in the betting regulation. The gambling regulations in question are the Fixed-Odds Betting Terminal (FOBT) that set the maximum permitted stake that gamblers can make while playing an electronic slot machine.
The GVC-owned company is aware of the backlash that is slated to come with so much loss of employment. “Ladbrokes must immediately engage with Community… to see if an alternative plan can be found to avoid job losses. The government also has a role to play, and must look at what support they can offer to workers whose jobs are at risk as an unintended consequence of changes to the law.”
Tussles with the Gambling Commission
This decision to close so many stores follows another detailed article by The Guardian. The newspaper broke the story of Ladbrokes offering aggrieved plaintiffs’ money not to lodge a complaint with the UK Gambling Commission. Following a discovery that a British-based businessperson was stealing funds to fund his gambling habit, the clients who lost their funds banded together to complain to the bookmaker. The matter was settled out of court, with an agreement reached that included a non-disclosure clause. The gambling commission issues a warning against these tactics.
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