Crackdown on FOBTs faces new delayGambling
The planned crackdown on highly addictive fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) will now be delayed until at least 2020, according to The Times.
A deal has apparently been thrashed out between bookmakers and the Treasury, which has always had serious misgivings about the policy.
At the time, the culture secretary Matt Hancock said: “When faced with choice of halfway measures or doing everything we can to protect vulnerable people, we have chosen to take a stand.”
Today, campaigners have reacted strongly to the setback. Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson MP labelled the move ‘pathetic’.
Labour MP Caroyln Harris who chairs the FOBTs All-Party Parliamentary Group said she was ‘furious’ and called on the planned stake reduction to be brought in immediately.
Meanwhile CARE spokesman James Mildred said: “This new, two-year delay is extremely disappointing.
“FOBTs cause huge social harm and the government appears to be going back on their commitment to implement the change in less than a year.
“Now the Treasury will profit from this backroom deal with the bookies, while some of the most vulnerable in society will continue to suffer.”