UK Sports Minister resigns over delay in cutting FOBT stakes

UK Sports Minister resigns over delay in cutting FOBT stakes

By site_editor

November 6 2018: All media, including BBC online report that ex-sports minister Tracey Crouch has said MPs interested in the betting industry are behind "delays" to new laws on fixed-odds betting machines.  The BBC report appears below:

Ms Crouch resigned from her post after Chancellor Philip Hammond said the cut in stakes from £100 to £2 would come into force in October 2019.

Ms Crouch said it was a "fact" that some MPs are "very interested in the bookmaking industry".

She added: "Clearly they were more persuasive in their arguments."

Currently, people can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on electronic casino games such as roulette.

Ms Crouch said she had been working under the assumption that the new maximum stake of £2 every 20 seconds would be introduced in April 2019.

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In her first interview since resigning, Ms Crouch told BBC Radio 5 Live: "There have been conversations that have taken place with many members of Parliament with different interests and, as I say, on this occasion, clearly I wasn't as persuasive as some of my other colleagues."

Ms Crouch was asked about a newspaper report suggesting she believed a meeting between Conservative MP Philip Davies and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Jeremy Wright was key to the delay.

She refused to confirm the details of the report, saying: "All meetings are registered. I'm sure it will all come out anyway."

She added Mr Davies was "very vocal in Parliament on behalf of the betting industry".

Anti-gambling campaigners say the machines let players lose money too quickly, leading to addiction and social, mental and financial problems.

Fixed-odds betting terminals generate £1.8bn in revenue a year for the betting industry, according to the Gambling Commission, and taxes of £400m for the government.

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