High street bookmaker Scotbet Ltd has gone into receivership and been sold on in a pre-pack deal which will safeguard 127 jobs and 30 of the chain’s 41 betting shops but 27 jobs will go.
Paul Dounis and Gareth Harris of RSM Restructuring Advisory were appointed joint receivers of the company today.
They said that Scotbet’s business had been hit by increased competition, a shift towards online betting and changes to the maximum Fixed Odd Betting Terminal (FOBT) stakes, which the UK Government cut from £100 to £2 in April.
The receivers sold the business to Scotb123 Ltd under previous chairman John Heaton as part of a pre-pack deal that limited the shop closures and job losses.
Paul Dounis said: “The business faced a number of changes to the trading landscape, like other businesses in the sector, and was unable to continue to trade.
“The sale of the business secures 127 jobs and it ensures continuity of the majority of the Scotbet shops. Regrettably this process has led to the closure of 11 stores, resulting in 27 redundancies.
“We are working closely with Redundancy Payments Service to support those employees who have been made redundant to process claims as quickly as possible.”
Heaton, who is chairman of Scotb123 and was also chairman of Scotbet Ltd, said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to save 30 of the Scotbet shops.
“This has been a very difficult time and I am particularly sorry for the staff in the branches which have closed. Independent bookmakers have been hit hard by increased costs and the reduction of the FOBT stake was the straw which broke the camel’s back.”