Gambling companies’ market value drops

Viktor Vangelov | Published 17 Feb 2020, 12:08 p.m.

Wagering limits have been discussed on a number of occasions and on different levels in the past year. The limit on FOBTs betting that was introduced last April was one of the most controversial issues, although was in no way surprising. In a way, it was to be expected, and the authorities have hinted that they intend to decrease the amount that punters could wager on a fixed-odds betting terminal. Following the implementation of the limit, many companies announced that they are expected a large revenue drop with some claiming that the decrease will force them to close some of their venues and subsequently lay staff off.

That eventually did happen, although it seems that the operators overestimated the gravity of the situation. Now, it seems that the anti-gambling in the UK is putting pressure on authorities on another issue, namely the decrease of the wagering limit online. A similar £2 limit on online gambling has been proposed and it appears that the Commission is seriously browsing this option.

William Hill price value drops by 8%

It seems likely that a limit of that sort will be implemented, and it will be only another measure in a series of decisions aimed at tackling problem gambling. The option to wager large amounts of money in a limited periods of time is seen as one of the issues that causes otherwise casual punters to develop a dangerous habit.

The recently announced partnership with Twitter, for instance, aims at achieving better control over gambling-related marketing communications, whereas the credit card gambling ban is another initiative aimed at reducing problem gambling, its negative effects.

But this time we would like to draw your attention to one side-effect, or should we say effect of the announced limit that’s going to be placed on online wagers. The stock market value of major UK gambling operators fell significantly following the statement made by UKGC chief that they are considering decreasing the online wagering amount.

William Hill, Flutter Entertainment, GVC, s well as software developer Playtech all saw a plunge of their price share. He said this at a cross-parliamentary group meeting and the statement had an immediate impact.

The total stock market value of all companies taken together dropped by over half a billion. The price of William Hill shares suffered a decrease of almost 8%, with GVC and Playtech price share value falling by 7%. Other companies, such as Flutter Entertainment and 888 saw lesser decline.

Will there be a new Gambling Act soon?

A spokesperson for the UKGC reflected on the situation, saying that the regulator announced its intention to decrease the online wagering limit. VIP bonuses and the general practice of giving special offers to players who have been classified as VIPs will be another matter that the Commission is going to look into.

Furthermore, we can expect amends to the 2005 Gambling Act, or perhaps a completely new and different law to be introduced during the mandate of the current government, as this has been announced. One thing is certain, gambling regulation in the UK is bound to become more restrictive in the upcoming period.