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Love them or hate them Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT’s) bring in a lot of revenue for the bookies. It’s reported each terminal rakes in around £50K per annum. With figures of this magnitude you can see why they are present in most betting offices throughout the country with multiple units in some shops. In fact it’s estimated there are around 35,000 Fixed Odds terminals among the country’s betting offices all making money in an effortless way. 

For those who conduct their betting mainly online and are unaware of these machines, FOBT’s are gaming machines containing roulettes, slots and others games of chance with a payout that cannot exceed £500 on each game. 

It’s a very lucrative ‘add on’ for the bookies with very little in the way of costs. 

Imagine an electronic unit programmed to take money and does not even stop for lunch, take time off sick and does not ask for a single penny in wages – how good is that!  Much like the beloved Fruit Machine that’s been working wage free across the world for decades. 

Years ago bookies had to work for their money in compiling odds and making a book trying to ensure a nice over round (profit margin). They even had losing weeks where the favoured outcome for punters would avail and then be hit hard across their betting outlets. 

Nowadays bookies are super efficient money making outfits, with their betting markets all developed and based on statistical modules using millions of pieces of data to guarantee them a set percentage regardless of whatever happens in the event. 

Going back to FOBT’s, I always wondered why on earth would anyone play them in bookies when players can now play in the comfort of their home. Surely everyone these days has access to a PC or smart phone? 

Then it dawned on me many gamblers do not like gambling alone, they would much rather share their good fortune or misery with other like minded players. I know I used to love the camaraderie the betting shops offered. You could share your delight when winning or moan in unison when losing, blaming everything and everyone when your cash went down the drain. A common one was to blame the jockey and say how much of a fiddle racing is, then gleefully tell everyone about your great judgement when your horse scooted home by 10 lengths. 

Plus I guess it is something to do whilst hanging around in the bookies. 

However as a result of the drop off in trade in the betting offices due to more people trading online FOBT’s were a god send for both the major and smaller independent bookies. 

Recently though things might be starting to change with the government announcing a clamp down on these terminals as a result of lobbying from pressure groups who are mainly looking to reduce the stake size to a maximum of £2 per go despite strong bookie opposition as you would expect. 

However bookies are not worried either way simply because if a punter had £100 in disposable income to spend on FOBT’s with this new proposed stake restriction they will simply play them longer to dispose of that £100. If they find this tiresome they can always have £50 on a horse, greyhound or whatever. 

So bookies have nothing to fear from this proposal and it looks like their own lobbying groups (who are also very powerful, if not more powerful) have already succeeded in watering down these proposals, when the opposition were looking for a complete ban as in the Republic of Ireland. 

What do we take from all this? Well simply this, bookies are growing ever more rich, and with money comes power. As ever punters are stuck in the middle trying to obtain best value and getting our bets on without restrictions. What we can do is take control and for starters avoid their crazy enhanced offers like multiples, and ‘x’ to beat ‘y’ by so many lengths specials they pump out every 10 minutes. 

Stick to the markets you are interested in and learn all about them with laser sharp vision, preferably markets with only two possible outcomes would be a good starting point, eg; the ‘Over/Under’ markets or the BTTS (Both Teams To Score) bet. 

It’s no fluke when you now type in it arrives on the Bookmakers portal instead of the exchange like it did when the Sportsbook side was first introduced. Take the hint and don’t play their games as you are just making them richer and in doing so reducing your power as a punter. Thank god for competition I say or else punters would be well and truly stuffed! 

Testing Pod Update: 

Both Teams To Score (BTTS) – Riding out a rough period…. 

BTTS is going through a rough period but still over +10 pts to the good and we are waiting for our next wave of winners. The Under 2.5 Goals test is not cutting the mustard so best watched for now as we may scrap this and get a horse racing test underway soon so watch this space. 

Check in daily to see the BTTS selections from this link below: