Fixed Odds Betting Terminals
So the new maximum bet on a Fixed Odds Betting Terminal is £2 from today, down from £100 up until now.
This has been on the cards for a while after a lot of pressure from the anti-gambling lobby and will see a lot of betting shops closed down as a result.
FOBTs came into our lives in 2001, grew so much in popularity that the number of FOBTs per shop was restricted to 4 by legislation brought in by the government in 2005 but they have continued to garner a lot of criticism over the years as the “crack cocaine” of gambling.
Big betting shop chains like GVC, who own Ladbrokes Coral, will continue to shut down shops and concentrate on online gambling but smaller operators will not have that option.
This will mean even more gaps appearing in our high street – but in this case, I think it is a good thing. You just wonder who will take up the newly-vacated premises.
Lyft’s recent flotation
The other thing I wanted to talk about was ride-hailing company Lyft’s flotation on the NASDAQ last week.
Basically, the stock climbed by 8.7% after it set a high starting price and I would have thought all involved will want to make sure that the price does well given that other companies like Uber and Pinterest are waiting in the wings to do their own flotations.
It just amazes me how much investors will pay for a company that continues to make losses, but I guess they are of the opinion that scale is what’s needed in the ride-hailing space and that the winners will take all.
I guess if you want to stick with ride-hailing in a smaller market, Lyft is possibly attractive, if you want more business and geographic diversification then Uber is better but if you want a better quality of offering with regional diversification then maybe Gett would be more attractive.
Still, it’s all academic at the moment as Lyft is the only one that “normal” punters can get their hands on.