UK Chancellor could set FOBTs reduction date this month

Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP of the UK. Credits: ru.sputnik.md

The politician is planning to include a date for the maximum stake reduction when he releases his budget this month.

UK.- Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP of the UK, is expected to release a date for the £2 maximum FOBT stake this month. While it is believed that the date will be included in his Budget, he has yet to determine when the new rules will be introduced in the country.

According to The Mirror’s sources, campaigners are backing a Commons showdown that could see the Chancellor’s budget challenged: “The people getting organised are those he needs to keep onside. At the moment Tory backbenchers are willing to rebel at the drop of a hat, so he needs to be really careful. He’s going to come under pressure from the backbenches as well as Number 10. They won’t want to go to war over a relatively small issue like this. After all, these are the MPs they need to keep onside for Brexit. There’s no good reason not to do it, unless pressure from the gambling lobby is too much,” said one of the sources.

After the British government decided to reduce the maximum stake for fixed odds betting machines (FOBTs), the gambling industry expected the measure to come into force by 2019 but authorities said that the limit won’t be implemented before 2020.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, Chair of the FOBT All Party Parliamentary Group said: “The Government must set a date in the Budget for when the FOBT stake is going to be reduced, and that should be April 2019 at the very latest. Anything after that would be indefensible and further evidence this Government cares little about improving society or helping vulnerable people. The harm caused by FOBTs cannot go on.”

A recent report from the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) indicates that machine gaming duty (MGD) receipts would fall by €322 million a year but this would be more than offset by €471 million of other benefits. The report, which was commissioned by the amusement arcade trade body Bacta, showed that the Treasury is set to lose between €110 million and €148 million for every year that maximum FOBT stake remains at €110.

Did you like this article?