Expectations grow over action on gaming machines
The indications grow stronger that the government is set to take action on gaming machine stakes when it announces the results of the Triennial Review in October.
The Times newspaper last week reported that the Treasury had dropped objections to the maximum stake being reduced from £100.
It claimed prime minister Theresa May supported a cut and said the review would recommend a number of options including £100, the £2 demanded by campaigners and at least two figures in between.
A ‘senior government figure’ was quoted as saying: “We know that we have to do something and that to do nothing at all would be politically toxic. It’s now really a question of negotiating what the Treasury can really live with, instead of what they want.”
MP Robertson issues warning over risk to racing from FOBT clampdown
The racing industry will be placed at risk if the government decides on a major reduction in FOBT stakes following its gambling review, according to Conservative MP Laurence Robertson.
In a rare example of political support for retail bookmakers, Robertson, whose Tewkesbury constituency includes Cheltenham racecourse, called on the government to take an evidence-based approach to its review.
Paddy Power Betfair chief’s call for £10 FOBT stake limit sparks war of words
Paddy Power Betfair have become the first major bookmaker to support a significant reduction in gaming machine stakes, calling for them to be reduced to £10 or less and sparking a war of words in the industry.
The company’s chief executive Breon Corcoran wrote to Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport minister Tracey Crouch this week to say the subject had become “toxic” to the industry and that lack of decisive action would lead to continuing uncertainty for the sector.
In industry’s hottest seat as the Fobt storm gathers
Bill Barber speaks to the Ladbrokes Coral chief executive
Mullen, who says he has “probably invested far too much of my thinking time to this”, feels the campaign against the machines is unfair.
He adds: “If we truly want to deal with problem gambling in this country then I think it’s shameful for certain bodies or individuals to use Fobts as the cause if they are genuinely interested in customers who have a problem with their gambling.
“Because the evidence is saying that is not the case.
“If there is a genuine concern for those individuals who suffer from a problem gambling addiction then we should be looking at it in the round because that is the only way that we can help those individuals.”