The government decided on Wednesday that the maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals will be reduced from £100 to £2 in April 2019.
Chancellor Philip Hammond previously announced in the budget the drop would happen in October 2019 following the gambling review’s recommendations. But he finally decided to move the date to April, the start of the new financial year.
The decision should reduce the harm caused by gambling addiction. Launched in 2001 in Britain, gamblers can make a bet every 20 seconds with a maximum stake of £100. Today, 34 000 terminals are implemented in the country. Every year, they make gamblers lose £1.8 milliard. Thousands of gamers lose nearly £1000 in each session.
Bookmakers voiced their concerns about the drop. It could bring betting shops to bankruptcy, and the loss of thousands of jobs. They reminded us the Treasury tax them £1 milliard a year. Culture secretary Jeremy Wright stated on Wednesday ‘“The government has been clear that protecting vulnerable people is the prime concern, but that as a responsible government it is also right to take the needs of those employed by the gambling industry into account and provide time for an orderly transition”.
Former sports minister Tracey Crouch – who resigned over the delay last week – said that two people take their lives every day due to gambling addiction. She said following Wednesday’s announcement that she was pleased common sense had prevailed.