Thursday, 25 October 2018 10:41

SNP MP CRITICISES TORY GOVERNMENT OVER REPORTED DELAY TO FOBTs STAKE REDUCTION

SNP MP Ronnie Cowan has criticised the Chancellor following reports that the UK government is set to postpone the implementation of the £2 maximum stake on highly-addictive Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

The MP, who is vice-chair of All-party Parliamentary Group on FOBTs, has campaigned on the issue of gambling related harm, and has urged Philip Hammond against "kicking the issue into the long grass" and to take steps to ensure that the upcoming Budget contains provisions to introduce a reduction in the maximum unit stake.

Research from Landman Economics has shown that the average FOBT user loses £192 a month, with the average user of machines already capped at £2 a spin losing just £22 in comparison. 

Ronnie Cowan MP, vice-chair of All-party Parliamentary Group on FOBTs, said:

“The reported decision by the Tory government to needlessly postpone the implementation of a £2 maximum stake on FOBTs is utterly shameful. If accurate, Tory minister Jeremy Wright has decided to swallow the bookmakers’ guidelines and ignore everyone else.

“There are very serious concerns over the harm that FOBTs can have on people, and kicking the issue into the long grass sends all the wrong signals.

“It is now 700 days since the UK government first began consulting on the issue of FOBTs and over £3.5bn has been lost, often by some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“Delaying does little to support those individuals and families whose lives have been devastated by the addictive nature of these machines.”

Uproar over fresh delay to £2 cap for bets on fixed-odds betting machines: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/25/uproar-over-delay-to-2-cap-for-bets-on-fixed-odds-betting-machines?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

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