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UK – Delays to new FOBT laws forces Sports Minister’s hand

By - 5 November 2018

Tracey Crouch has resigned from her position as Sports Minister over delays to the stake cut on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.

Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed in his budget that the reduced stakes from £100 to £2 wouldn’t come into force until October 2019.

Ms Crouch slammed some MPs as being ‘very interested in the bookmaking industry’ adding that they were ‘more persuasive in their arguments’ than she could be.

She wanted the new maximum stake of £2 to be introduced in April 2019 and Conservative MP Philip Davies was ‘very vocal in Parliament on behalf of the betting industry.’

Ms Crouch said: “Unfortunately, implementation of these changes are now being delayed until October 2019 due to commitments made by others to those with registered interests. From the time of the announcement to reduce stakes and its implementation, over £1.6bn will be lost on these machines.

“In addition, two people will tragically take their lives every day due to gambling-related problems and, for that reason as much as any other, I believe this delay is unjustifiable,” she added. “It is a fact of government that ministers must adhere to collective responsibility and cannot disagree with policy, let alone when it is policy made against your wishes relating to your own portfolio.”

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