Sainsbury to rival Clearwater leisure scheme in Kingston

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Swiss railways fund hires new CEO from Publica

first_imgIwan Lanz is to succeed Marcus Hübscher as chief executive officer of the CHF18.4bn (€16.9bn) Swiss railways pension scheme.Lanz will be joining Pensionskasse SBB (PK SBB) from CHF41bn federal pension fund Publica, where he has been a member of the executive board since 2017. Initially a secondary school teacher, Lanz changed career to enter the pensions and insurance field in 2001, according to PK SBB. Save for a short period leading Aon Hewitt’s Bern office, he has been at Publica since 2003.“Iwan Lanz is a proven specialist and profound connoisseur of the Swiss pension system,” said Markus Jordi, president of the board of trustees. “The board of trustees is very pleased that the pension fund was able to recruit him to lead the executive management.” PK SBB has around 55,000 members, of which 45% are pensioners. It is one of the top 10 largest pension funds in Switzlerland.  Iwan Lanz, incoming CEO of PK SBBLanz will take over from Hübscher in November as the pension fund looks to its next steps following completion of a 10-year recovery plan.“I am impressed by how it has been possible to stabilise PK SBB in recent years after a difficult situation and to position it well for the future,” said Lanz. ”I look forward to actively contributing to the further successful development of PK SBB.”Hübscher announced his plan to step down in the spring, and has told IPE he will be exploring possibilities to take on non-executive roles. Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

‘Technical incompetence’ hit | CONSUMERS SUFFER: Another 13-hour inconvenient brownout

first_img“This 13-hour brownout plunged one-third of Iloilo into darkness once more,” said Engineer Aldren Deleste, operations manager for planning of Panay Electric Co. (PECO), referencing on the power outages pummeling the city in the midst of the double whammy of scorching summer months and the coronavirus pandemic through the months of March to May. Worse, added Deleste, “these chronic power outages remain unabated even at the start of rainy season this June, a way for MORE Power to cement the stature of Iloilo City as ‘the brownout capital of the Philippines.’” “Oil of the power transformer was filtered and parallel works were also done outside,” he added, emphasizing that “at the extent of this maintenance, the scheduled repair works only resulted in a scheduled outage of eight hours.” As could be culled from the all-inclusive outcome of that technical audit, PECO noted that under its watch, “comprehensive maintenance was done at the La Paz substation in 2018 without any major outage,” contrary to the prolonged brownouts distressing Iloilo City consumers in line with the maintenance activities being undertaken by MORE. La Paz substation mainly caters to the transport and port hub of Iloilo and is one of the major anchors for commercial activities in the city. Hence, power interruptions not only bring inconvenience but may also cause serious economic losses. Yesterday’s scheduled brownout was from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. covering La Paz district (feeders 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). MORE Power claimed the maintenance of the La Paz substation was due to its overloaded condition. When these children’s family woke up very early yesterday, June 14, 2020, it was pitch-dark. There was no electricity in a wide swath of Iloilo City’s La Paz district due to a scheduled power maintenance work from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is not the first time the city has to endure some 13 hours of power interruption. Does the brownout have to take that long, inconvenienced consumers are asking. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN According to Deleste, when PECO did comprehensive maintenance, it logged a shorter downtime and service interruption of just eight hours, way shorter than the current harrowing 13-hour brownouts by MORE Power. This clearly negates the claim of MORE Power that the facility is overloaded and that should also debunk the basis of the maintenance work it is pursuing, he added. For well-experienced power distribution firms with extensive knowledge, he pointed out, it is a technically acceptable industry practice to undertake “comprehensive maintenance every five5 to 10 years based on proper daily monitoring and monthly predictive maintenance (PM), or what is known as condition-based maintenance.center_img “It seems MORE Power is trying to exaggerate the volume of its maintenance work to make it appear that PECO was negligent even if this is untrue, and even if it means suffering for the people of Iloilo City because of the long and more frequent brownouts,” said Deleste. ILOILO City – Already incensed by the seemingly unending prolonged and frequent power outages, consumers here were tormented by yet another 13-hour scheduled brownout yesterday, with MORE Electric and Power Corp.’s (MORE Power) maintenance work at the La Paz substation affecting a wide swath of the district. In contrast, said Deleste, the maintenance work of MORE Power is not as comprehensive but “surprisingly required longer hours.”/PN “The fact that MORE Power needs to do comprehensive maintenance means it has not been monitoring it and doing proper PMs,” said Deleste. “It also shows that MORE Power does not seem to know or understand the equipment, and that circles back to technical incompetence, which in turn causes inconvenience to the people of Iloilo and putting unwarranted blame on PECO.” Deleste, however, debunked this, pointing out that when PECO was managing the power distribution facility in Iloilo City, the La Paz substation was actually “underloaded.”Citing a third party technical audit undertaken by Singaporean firm WSP Consultancy Pte. Ltd., the PECO engineer conveyed that full-scale maintenance work was carried out at the La Paz substation in 2018; and that particular facility was rated “underloaded” during the audit process. For the La Paz substation, in particular, WSP Consultancy noted that “the capacity of generation seems adequate to cater to peak load demand of the PECO distribution network. The peak load observed in 2017 was at 110 MVA (mega-volt ampere), which is within permissible limits of generation capacity.” As affirmed in the 2018 audit report, “out of the 50-megawatt capacity of La Paz substation, under PECO’s watch, it was only loaded with 33MW which was technically 66 percent only of the full capacity,” said Deleste WSP Consultancy has deep and extensive multi-disciplinary expertise in energy infrastructure globally – spanning through planning, designing, building and operating a power plant; as well as in the automation, technical processes and ensuring reliability across the supply chain that include transmission and distribution of electricity to consumers.last_img read more

Natural Resources Commission approves two preserves

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — The Natural Resources Commission approved two nature preserves at its bi-monthly meeting today in Indianapolis. The action increases to 287 the number of state-designated sites protected by the Nature Preserves Act.The two new nature preserves are Dewey Hickman Nature Preserve in Harrison County and Mary Gray Nature Preserve in Fayette County.The Dewey Hickman preserve comprises 125 acres southwest of Corydon. The preserve is named as a memorial to the superintendent of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp that was located where O’Bannon State Park is now. The preserve is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, which was given the property by Richard K. Stem, president of Chester B. Stem, Inc.Indian Creek runs along a portion of the preserve, which consists of a variety of forested natural community types. It is located in the Shawnee Hills Natural Region. Its bird species include the state-special-concern species hooded warbler, sharp-shinned hawk and red-shouldered hawk, as well as the state-endangered cerulean warbler. Noteworthy plant species include the state-rare Eastern bloodleaf.The Mary Gray preserve, southwest of Connersville, is a 37.99-acre portion of the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. The site is included in Alton Lindsey’s “Natural Areas in Indiana.”Research is being conducted at the preserve by bird banding during the spring and fall migration of the Northern saw-whet owl and ruby-throated hummingbirds. A turtle population research project has been in progress since 1985.Owned and managed by The Indiana Audubon Society, the preserve consists of a high-quality mesic upland forest with a showy spring wildflower display. The forest is dominated by sugar maple and tulip tree. These community types, along with their component flora and fauna, contain many species that are area-sensitive forest-interior plants and animals that depend upon large, unfragmented forest ecosystems.In other action, the NRC granted preliminary adoption to a new rule designed to remove 44 invasive plants from trade inside Indiana. The decision only starts the deliberative rules process. It does not put a new rule into effect.Invasive species in Indiana regularly move into the forest and restrict the ability of trees to regenerate because the invasives use essential nutrients and block sunlight from native species that regenerate more slowly.Indiana land managers (private and public) currently spend an estimated $8.6 million managing invasive plants every year. The goal of removing these invasive species from trade is to reduce the number such plants escaping into the wilderness, thereby reducing the amount of state and federal funding required to control them.The DNR has determined that 22 of the 44 plants identified can be found in trade in Indiana now, but only four are sold with any regularity. To decrease potential fiscal impact of the rule on small businesses, the DNR would make allowance for an additional year from the effective date of the rule to sell affected stock before issuing penalties. The proposal would also allow members of the public to report evidence of terrestrial invasive species to the DNR.The NRC will next provide an opportunity for public comment to be received in writing or through two public hearings that will be scheduled at times and sites still to be determined.  In other actions, the NRC…  – Accepted a hearing-officer report summarizing public meetings and making recommendations regarding a contract application from Salt Creek Services for a water sale contract from Monroe Lake.  – Accepted the recommendation of a committee comprised of members from DNR Divisions of Entomology, Nature Preserves, Law Enforcement, and State Parks to, rather than amend the current definition of mushroom in Indiana Code, as requested by a petitioner, keep the definition as being “edible fungi” and to advise the petitioner to seek special-use permits and individual scientific collecting and research permits as needed to conduct necessary studies on DNR properties. This approach will enable the annual morel season and other edible mushroom collecting to continue, and will enable DNR properties to be aware of and coordinate scientific mushroom collecting. DNR properties will be able to provide collecting and special-use permits for the scientific collecting of mushrooms with advance notice from requestors. The petition had sought a new definition of the “macroscopic fruiting body of a fungus.”The NRC is an autonomous board that addresses topics pertaining to the DNR. More details on these actions are available at under “July Agenda.”last_img read more

ICC World Cup Rohit Sharma credits Yuvraj Singh’s advice for record-breaking run in World Cup 2019

first_imghighlights Rohit Sharma blasted his 27th century overall in clash vs Sri Lanka.Rohit Sharma is the first player in history to hit five centuries in one edition.Rohit Sharma is just 27 runs away from breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of runs in an edition. For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.center_img New Delhi: Rohit Sharma is having a record-breaking run in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. During his century against Sri Lanka in Leeds, Rohit created some new world records as India sealed the top spot in the tournament with a seven-wicket win against the 1996 champions. Rohit’s 103 was his fifth in this single edition of the World Cup. His fifth ton was a new world record and it broke the previous record held by Kumar Sangakkara in which he blasted four consecutive centuries. Rohit’s century took him past Shakib Al Hasan for most runs in the 2019 edition of the tournament and it also put him closer to Sachin Tendulkar’s overall tally of runs, which is 673 in the 2003 edition in South Africa.Speaking in the post-match press conference, Rohit has credited Yuvraj Singh’s advice and said his suggestions put him in a great space for the tournament. “I was not getting big runs before the tournament. Yuvraj Singh is like my big brother and he told me that I will get runs when it matters. Probably, he was talking about the World Cup. In IPL, we were having a good chat about the game. He was in a similar phase in 2011 before the World Cup. He was not getting enough runs. What he told me was to be in a good space. That is what he did and that is why he was so successful at that World Cup,” Rohit said.Yuvraj, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket recently, produced a magnificent performance with both bat and ball in the 2011 edition and he emerged as the Man of the Series as India won the World Cup after 28 years.Rohit’s knock has gotten him closer to breaking Tendulkar’s tally of overall runs in the World Cup and it has also given him a chance to break the Master Blaster’s tally of tons in the tournament as well as equal Sangakkara’s feat of four consecutive tons, having already hit three on the trot against England, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. However, Rohit is not looking at records and states every day is a new day.“What has happened has happened, every day is a new day in cricket. I want to start every day as a fresh day. I come out thinking I have not played any ODIs or scored any hundreds in the tournament. That is the mindset I want to get in and I keep telling myself that,” Rohit said.India will take on New Zealand in the first semi-final in Manchester on June 9 and they will be aiming to get the better of the Kiwis after their first league game was washed out due to rain in Trent Bridge on July 13.last_img read more

Bad weather wipes out third day in second Test

first_imgSOUTHAMPTON, England (Reuters) – Bad weather continued to dog the second Test between England and Pakistan yesterday as a combination of bad light and drizzle wiped out the whole of the third day at the Rose Bowl.Although the weather appeared to improve in the afternoon, two inspections found that the outfield was still too wet and play was finally abandoned for the day after the umpires had a third look in deteriorating light.Only 86 of a possible 180 overs were bowled on the first two days as Pakistan, batting first, reached 223-9 with Mohammad Rizwan unbeaten on 60. With more bad weather forecasts, a draw seems to be the most likely result.Pakistan, who trail 1-0 after England’s dramatic victory in the first Test, need to win to give themselves any chance of taking the three-match series.Former England captain Michael Vaughan said the situation had not been handled well, especially given the effort to stage the series amid the COVID-19 outbreak.“It is frustrating for everyone,” he told the BBC.“I don’t think there has been any urgency. You think of the amount of time and cost that everyone has put in for this series to happen.“Over the three days there have been times when it has been raining, and you can’t play in the rain, but there have been 60 or 70 overs when we could have been playing.”last_img read more

No rust in Badgers’ WNIT victory

first_imgSUNDEEP MALLADI/Herald photoWhen a team has an abnormally long layoff between games, one of two things can happen: It can look sharp and rested, or it can look rusty. Sunday, 16 days after falling to Purdue in overtime in the Big Ten Tournament, the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team beat Arkansas State 77-45 in the second round of the WNIT. Needless to say, there was no rust.”Wisconsin was just in every aspect of the game a step quicker than we were,” said a disappointed Arkansas State head coach Brian Boyer, whose team was eliminated from tournament play with the loss.The Wisconsin defense forced 17 first-half turnovers, and the Badgers shot lights out to begin the game, shooting 59 percent from the field en route to a 51-18 lead at the break. Freshman walk-on guard Erika Engen scored her first points as a Badger, and UW earned its 20th win of the season and its first postseason victory since 2000, when it won the WNIT Championship and beat the Florida Gators. All of these aspects of Sunday’s victory would be worthy of a headline, if it weren’t for Jolene Anderson.Going into Sunday’s game, Anderson had 585 points on the season, 16 points behind Barb Franke’s program-record 601. Anderson had 22 at the half. Before Sunday, Anderson’s career high was 29 points. With six minutes to go, Anderson had 28 points, and a layup with 5:29 remaining in the half gave her the new milestone of 30. “My teammates [kept] finding me,” Anderson said humbly. “A lot of it came from defense, [but my teammates] found me when I was open, set good screens. I [credit] them.”The Port Wing native finished with seven steals and seven rebounds to balance out the stat sheet.Boyer’s Lady Indians knew about Anderson’s scoring abilities before Sunday’s 4:30 p.m. tip off, but they simply could not stop her or even slow her down. Anderson’s 22 first-half points came on 9-of-13 shooting from the field, including 2-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc, meaning she was a perfect 7-for-7 on 2-point field goals.Behind Anderson’s hot hand, the Badgers shot out of the gate with a bang. They started the game on a 15-2 run and never looked back. It almost seemed too easy. UW junior guard Janese Banks disagreed.”I don’t think they gave us anything,” Banks explained. “I think we worked for everything we [got]. We were working really hard; it wasn’t easy.”Banks finished with 13 points and three assists.Freshman point guard Rae Lin D’Alie handled the ball with grace, dishing out seven assists — many of which were of highlight reel quality — to complement 11 points of her own.Shooting 50 percent from the field and out-rebounding Arkansas State 39-26, Wisconsin may have played its best game start to finish of the year.”We’re playing our best basketball right now,” UW head coach Lisa Stone said after the game. “To be playing in March is awesome. It’s a great feeling. [We] look fresh. The way we played against Michigan and Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament was some of our best basketball, and it carried over into [Sunday’s game].”The Badgers await tomorrow night’s winner of the second round game between Ball State and Kentucky. No matter the winner, the third round game will be played at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Kohl Center.last_img read more

Women’s basketball: Badgers hope to end winless streak against Nebraska

first_imgTwo teams at the bottom of the Big Ten standings will face off Thursday as the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team (5-18, 0-10 Big Ten) takes on the University of Nebraska (5-18, 1-10 Big Ten) at the Kohl Center. Both teams are riding substantial losing streaks and are desperate for a win any way they can get it.The Badgers are yet to win a game in Big Ten play and are currently on a 10-game losing streak after a big loss to Ohio State in their last game. Nebraska comes into the game on a six-game losing streak with one win so far during the Big Ten season. A win would tie the two teams at 1-10 in conference play for the season.Both teams struggle to score with their opponents. The season scoring averages for the teams are very similar, with the Badgers coming in at 61 points per game and Nebraska coming in at 61.8. On paper, the game looks to be an evenly matched battle. The Badgers need to ride some of the momentum from the Ohio State where they scored their Big Ten-high in points (68) into Thursday.Women’s basketball: Losses pile up in yet another missed opportunity on Badgers’ home courtThe University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team (5-18, 0-10 Big Ten) couldn’t buy themselves a sorely needed win on Saturday, Read…To win their first game in Big Ten play, the Badgers will need to limit the scoring and rebounding of the Huskers’ leading scorer, Jessica Shepard. Shepard is averaging a double-double with 18.1 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game.UW will also need to look out for freshman Hannah Whitish who is the Huskers’ current leader in assists per game (2.5) and three-point shooting percentage (36 percent). These are the two players that need to be at the forefront of UW’s defensive game plan in order for the Badgers to get a much-needed win.Another key to the game will be the turnover battle. Both teams really struggle to keep control of the ball. Both teams are in the bottom 100 for turnovers per game in the nation. With Wisconsin averaging 19.5 turnovers per game and Nebraska 18.1 per game, the game could come down to who can slow the game down the most and play below their season turnovers per game average. The Badgers will need to win the turnover battle in order to win.Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST and is scheduled to air on BTN Plus.last_img read more

Women’s Soccer: How Badgers became dependent on Dani Rhodes

first_imgStar forward Dani Rhodes made her mark in Madison the moment she stepped onto the field as a freshman. The Waukesha, Wisconsin, native started her career for the Badgers by participating in all 22 games and immediately having a significant impact on the team’s fate.Her opening year was just an introduction. Over the next three years, Rhodes went on to hone her game and cement herself as the leader of the team in overall offensive production. In just her second season competing with the team, Rhodes led the Badgers in total goals, assists, points and shots on goal.This trend continued into Rhodes’ junior season as she helped carry the Badgers to a Sweet 16 appearance in the 2018 NCAA tournament — only the second time the team had advanced that far in their history. Rhodes again led the team in goals, assists, total shots and shots on goal.Women’s Soccer: Shot at near perfect Big Ten record, national title on horizonThe No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers women’s soccer team (13-2-2) is on an absolute tear for the second straight season. With Read…In each of these two seasons, however, Rhodes often was able to put up such numbers despite the fact she often did not play the entire game. In her sophomore season, Rhodes started all 22 games for the Badgers. Yet she was ninth on the team for total minutes played throughout the season, trailing the leading time played by 400 minutes. Not much changed in the 2018 season as Rhodes continued to lead the team in offensive output despite not leading the team in minutes played.Rhodes played even fewer minutes in 2018 than she did in 2017, as she was 11th on the team for total minutes played throughout the season. While some of this is undoubtedly because forwards tend to get subbed out more frequently near the ends of games, it does not account for the extent of the discrepancy as fellow forward Cameron Murtha played over 100 minutes more than Rhodes during 2018.Rhodes led the Badgers to successful season after successful season despite the fact that she saw the field less than almost every other starter on the team. Had she played the rest of those games, there is no telling what ridiculous stat lines she may have accrued.Rhodes clearly acted as the lifeblood of the of the Badgers as they made three straight appearances in the NCAA tournament. She has continued to do so in her final season in the cardinal and white.Women’s Soccer: Early season success offers chance at redemptionAfter a 2018 fall defined by regular season promise that ultimately failed to play out in the postseason, the Badgers Read…Rhodes currently leads the team in goals, points, total shots and shots on goal. With 11 goals on the season, Rhodes has scored over 40% of the Badgers’ goal total. Once again, Rhodes achieved this feat with limited playing time compared to her fellow starters. Rhodes ranks just ninth on the team for total minutes played at this point in the 2019 season.Each and every minute Rhodes plays is meaningful. There is little time for her to remain on the field with other starters in order to pad her stats. Even with her relatively limited time on the field compared to starting defensemen and midfielders, Rhodes has undoubtedly been the most important factor in the Badgers’ success this year.In fact, the Badgers’ losses this season are more indicative of her importance to the team than even their wins. For example, the Purdue Boilermakers recently knocked the Badgers out of the Big Ten tournament in the first round. The Boilermakers were a No. 8 seed while the Big Ten champion Badgers were a No. 1 seed. It was a poor loss and the Boilermakers were able to pull off the upset by effectively shutting Rhodes down.Rhodes managed to get off just two total shots on the game while others, namely forwards Murtha and Emma Jaskaniec and midfielder Maia Cella, each put up three a piece. Rhodes also trailed Murtha and Jaskaniec in shots on goal for the game.Women’s soccer: Wisconsin hung tight with nation’s best in NCAA Tournament, Coach Paula Wilkins excited for next yearThe No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers women’s soccer team fell 1–0 to then No. 1 ranked Stanford just before Thanksgiving. With Read…There’s really no way around it. Even against a team that they handled in the regular season, the Badgers need Rhodes to have a strong performance. If she doesn’t, her prowess on the field has to capture the majority of their attention in order to free others to have scoring opportunities. When she is relegated to just the fourth best offensive producer on the team, it’s difficult for that to happen. It is for this same reason the Badgers barely held on against Purdue earlier in the season as Rhodes had just one shot all game long.Following their disappointing loss in the Big Ten tournament, the Badgers will need Rhodes to step up if they are to match or improve upon last season’s performance in the NCAA tournament. As shown by the crucial offensive role she’s played throughout her career, much of the Badgers’ success is dependent on her ability to deliver.last_img read more

Year in Review: The impact of FOBT regulations

first_img UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Related Articles Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Share Share Betfred counters Oppenheimer bid in race to rescue Phumelela August 26, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon It has proven to be a very tumultuous year for the retail betting sector, with 151 stores closing to the public between March and September. The big four – Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill, Betfred and Paddy Power – continued to dominate the retail scene, holding 87 per cent of betting shops in Great Britain. Generally, however, stores have been struggling to absorb the impact of the proposed cuts to maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) that are due to be implemented in April 2019. In May, the Government announced that it will be reducing the maximum FOBT stake from £100 to £2 in a move to combat what has been described as “gambling-related harm”. The Government had originally announced that the cuts to stakes would take place in April 2019 so that it may coincide with the start of the financial year. FOBTs have been a significant driving force behind the revenues shared by retailers in recent years, with Gambling Commission statistics suggesting that on average there is £5m per day being wagered on FOBT machines. Reports surfaced in June, however, suggesting that the cuts may be delayed until 2020 due to concerns that the Treasury would lose money to Machine Games Duty.Findings from the Centre for Economic and Business Research suggested that delays until 2020 would have seen the Treasury be at a loss of between £98m and £132m per year – most of which is was a result of increased taxes against online operators and tax revenues generated by substitute products such as FOBT machines.Conversely, the same report stated that bookmakers will be at a profit of between £348 million and £540 million a year from the FOBT revenues whilst the delays would be ongoing. Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society stated: “While we want a healthy gambling industry that contributes to the economy, we also need one that does all it can to protect players. We are increasing protections around online gambling, doing more on research, education and treatment of problem gambling and ensuring tighter rules around gambling advertising.” Crouch resigned from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) in relation to the government’s delay in implementing its £2 FOBTs stake reduction.She had served as Sports Minister since 2015, and had led the government’s relations with the UK betting and gambling sectors.A spokesperson for the Association for British Bookmakers stated that: “Recent announcements by major operators reveal the true impact of this decision, that thousands of betting shops will close and there will be thousands of job losses. Betting shops are now focused on the future of their staff, customers and suppliers.”The Gambling Commission later issued a recommendation to support the DCMS’ review of gaming machines and its social responsibility measures. The Commission stated that collaborative measures between the government, the Gambling Commission and betting operators is fundamental to reduce the risks to consumers and that while this should include a stake cut, the Gambling Commission report recommends that: “a precautionary approach should involve a stake limit at or below £30 if it is to have a significant effect on the potential for players to lose large amounts of money in a short space of time”.The Commission recommended that stake levels on FOBT gaming machines be cut to £2 for slot-based games, whilst non-slots games such as roulette should be cut to £30 or below – and not the £2 stake that the government will implement. The recommendation will allow for the number of player losses to be significantly reduced, whilst allowing for profitability for betting operators and tax revenues for the treasury to be maintained. Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur said: “We’ve put consumers at the heart of our advice – advice which is based on the best available evidence and is focussed on reducing the risk of gambling-related harm. In our judgement, a stake cut for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals alone doesn’t go far enough to protect vulnerable people. “That is why we have recommended a stake cut plus a comprehensive package of other measures to protect consumers. We have proposed actions that will tackle both the risk of harm and provide solutions that are sustainable in the longer term.”The biannual report issued by the Gambling Commission highlighted that while employment in the betting industry has increased by 0.6 per cent during 2018, the number of betting shops has fallen by 1.8 per cent between March and September. 63 per cent of the losses were accounted for by Ladbrokes Coral which, according to the Gambling Commission report, have closed 96 stores since March 2018.Independent betting stores also suffered in 2018, with 25 operators being forced into closure. For years, the independent sector has been complaining that shifts towards online betting combined with increasing regulations is making it ever more difficult for the independent bookmaker to even exist on the high street, never mind thrive. Independent stores have been unable to withstand the change in retail behaviour towards the online market, and the increasing prices of media rights and the gambling commission statistics have clearly shown this. Betting shops have been unable to show as much racing as they have previously shown, and with the larger operators giving customers access to mobile apps that can place live in-play bets at the touch of a button, the independent sector has suffered as a result. The gross gambling yield for the gambling industry as a  whole has experienced a 4.2 per cent increase compared to 2017, however the non-remote GGY has fallen by four percent since March last year. And with Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, announcing that the UK treasury will be increasing Remote Gambling duties from 15 per cent to 21 per cent on ‘online games of chance’, it is expected that betting operators will either continue to shut their doors to the public, or take their business elsewhere. Hammond told Parliament: “I can confirm that we will increase Remote Gaming Duty on online games of chance, to 21 percent in order to fund the loss of revenue as we reduce FOBT stakes to 2 pounds.”The increased duty is said to be a ‘nightmare scenario’ for stakeholders in the gambling industry, and will act as a further barrier to entry for those wanting to enter the retail scene. The impact of the FOBTs policy is yet to be fully seen, however it is expected that bookmakers will have to find alternative sources of revenue or to close. From the Gambling Commission report, it can be assumed that we are more than likely expecting the latter.last_img read more