The smart money is on a gambling machine clampdown as early as this year, according to the bears at JPMorgan Cazenove.
Ladbrokes dropped 8.1, or 4.9pc, to 158.6p and William Hill slid 6.6, or 1.8pc, to 355.4p after the broker’s betting experts said Governmentrestrictions on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT) were likely to be implemented in the autumn, although moves could be made earlier in 2014.
“A reduction in stakes and/or prizes is the most likely outcome, in our view, which could be achieved within existing legislation,” the analysts argued. That in turn could lead to “significant shop closures”, they said, and cut their price target on Ladbrokes to 95p from 140p and their objective on Hill to 340p from 360p. Both are rated “underweight” by the broker.
Read the full article in The Daily Telegraph online.