Advice for Betting Shop Owners

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Updated: 7th January 2021

Advice for Bookies and Betting Shops following FOBT changes

The move to reduce the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in England, Scotland, and Wales, from £100 to £2, is predicted to cause serious financial difficulty and job losses for bookies and betting shop businesses.

Larger organisations may be able to increase investment in online gambling to replace revenues, but if you’re an independent bookie or own a smaller betting shop business you’re unlikely to have access to the capital needed to make sustainable changes in this way.

Statistics from the Gambling Commission show there were 8,406 betting shops in Great Britain in 2018, with 107,940 employees working in the industry, so if your business is experiencing financial problems or you believe it may already be insolvent, where do you go for help?

Obtaining professional assistance at an early stage

Seeking assistance from a licensed insolvency practitioner (IP) at the first sign of distress can save your business and allow you to build a new environment in which to operate. This might mean restructuring to reduce costs, negotiating lower rents, or perhaps entering a formal insolvency process that offers crucial time to plan.

Real Business Rescue are insolvency specialists – we focus on business rescue and provide the reliable independent advice you need. Our deep understanding of the industry, and practical experience of steering companies out of financial trouble, means we can quickly assess your situation and guide you towards the best options.

Dealing with the impact of FOBT changes

HMRC Time to Pay (TTP) arrangement

HMRC’s instalment plan offers you extra time to pay your tax and National Insurance liabilities - this may be available if you have good history of filing and payment with HMRC. You would need to support your application with detailed forecasts of sales and expenditures, but could receive up to 12 months additional time.

Informal negotiations with creditors

Rent is typically one of the highest outgoings for betting shop owners, so negotiating with your landlord to reduce rental payments could make a significant difference to liquidity. Other key suppliers and creditors may also be willing to reduce repayments, especially if there is danger of a ‘ripple effect’ damaging their own businesses.

Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)

This is a formal insolvency process that restructures debt and allows you to repay an affordable amount over a fixed period, typically between one and five years. Because it’s legally binding you’re protected from creditor action as long as you keep up the repayments.

Alternative finance

A number of alternative funding options may be available to you and could provide a regular source of working capital each month, or perhaps a cash lump sum to deal with debt or invest in the business.

If you are a bookie or betting shop owner and are facing financial decline, Real Business Rescue can help. Call one of our licensed insolvency practitioners for more information tailored to your business. We offer free same-day consultations and operate from an extensive network of offices throughout the UK.

Jonathan Munnery


0800 644 6080
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