With proposals to reduce maximum stakes to £2 and restrict the number of terminals, the industry is on tenterhooks.
One of its defences is that FOBTs have a gross margin of between 2% and 3%, meaning between 97% and 98% of stakes end up being returned to punters in winnings.
In terms of “social betting” —like a low-stakes poker game—Rose says authorities look the other way.
“Federal laws have generally switched from prohibition to grudging permission,” he says.
Above board betting A small number of states do have laws enabling the taking of bets, or bookmaking.
Most of them make room to permit “calcuttas,” or betting auctions most often used with March Madness pools.
The legality of his wagers has not officially been questioned and most chatter has instead focused on the ethics of his gambling and on whether he violated any rules of the various sports’ governing bodies.Which sounds reasonable until you reflect that the high maximum stakes and the speed at which people can bet means they can still run up large debts in a short space of time.Nonetheless, FOBTs are serving as something of a lightning rod for other types of gambling that are also unfair to punters but poorly understood.Humphrey says that March Madness pools are usually not prosecuted because they typically do not involve anyone making money other than the bettors.(In other words, the person running a pool typically does not take a cut.) Where is bookmaking legal?