What is a ‘Fixed Odds Betting Terminal’ (FOBT)
Fixed odds – or FOBT – refers to a type of betting machine that is available to play in betting shops. FOBT stands for fixed odds betting terminal and players can use the terminals to play popular casino table games such as roulette. UK gambling legislation states that bookmakers can only have up to four FOBT machines in any betting shop. They have become popular with players because of their fixed odds and payouts. They also serve as an alternative for gamblers who don’t necessarily want to go to the bookies to place a sportsbook bet.
‘Fixed Odds Betting Terminals’ (FOBTs) Explained
The terminals were introduced to UK betting shops in 2001 and they allowed players to place wagers on the outcome of different games or events. Since their introduction, the most popular game that FOBTs offer is roulette. This has been put down to the familiarity of the game along with the fact the gameplay is straightforward and doesn’t require any expert roulette knowledge.
In order to place a bet, players have to bet at least £1 per spin but, because of regulations, FOBTs restrict them from placing any big-money wagers. Legislation states that no player is able to put a bet on that would result in a payout of more than £500 in the UK. So, if, for example, they placed £15 on a single roulette number, the machine would restrict them from doing so because the payout would be more than £500. Taking into consideration that £500 is the maximum payout, a player could win the jackpot by placing a winning single number roulette bet with a wager of £14.
FOBTs have become extremely popular with betting shops and many prefer them to traditional slot machines. Not only are FOBTs easier to manage, they offer customers a wider range of games to play with tempting payouts. With the machines offering more to the players, it means that more players are going to sit at FOBTs, all of which adds to the bookie’s bottom line. Additionally, the machines come with an inbuilt advantage for the betting shops. This ‘house edge‘ is usually somewhere in-between 2.7 and 5% on roulette, and with margins like that, the betting shop is ultimately always going to win.
Other popular FOBT games include horse racing and greyhound racing which are entirely simulated. These simulated races are much like a regular race with each horse having different odds; the bettor simply selects a horse and hopes that they come through in first. Elsewhere, there’s bingo and other slot machine games, all designed to tempt the player into placing a bet and hopefully staying at the machine for an extended period of time.