The sports minister, Tracey Crouch, has resigned from the cabinet amid claims the government has “delayed” slashing the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2 down from £100. FOBTs allow users to gamble up to £100 every 20 seconds and have been described as the “crack cocaine” of betting machines by campaigners, sighting them as dangerously addictive.
Ms Crouch claimed in her resignation letter that “implementation of these changes are now being delayed until October 2019 due to commitments made by others to those with registered interests”.
“From the time of the announcement to reduce stakes and its implementation over £1.6bn will be lost on these machines, a significant amount of which will be in our most deprived areas including my own constituency,” Ms Crouch said.
“In addition, two people will tragically take their lives every day due to gambling related problems and for that reason as much as any other I believe this delay is unjustifiable.
“The alignment of the stake reduction with an increase in remote gaming duty was a condition put on by the Treasury to provide fiscal neutrality but is not a technical necessity, so there is no reason why implementation cannot come in sooner than October.”
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) 1 November 2018
Tracey Crouch has taken a courageous and principled decision to resign from the Government over Jeremy Wright’s decision to delay cutting the maximum stake on FOBTs. https://t.co/LxFpfqnAmq
— Tom Watson (@tom_watson) 1 November 2018
Will the government u-turn on the ‘delay’? Comment your thoughts.