Fixed odds betting terminals are important to the economic viability of many betting shops, which currently employ around 53,000 people nationally. However, we cannot ignore the evidence that has been presented on the potential impact these types of gaming machines can have on individuals and wider communities.
The Government has always 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. The reduction will now come into effect in April 2019.
The corresponding increase in remote gaming duty to 21 per cent will also come into effect at this time to cover the negative impact on public finances, and to protect vital public services.
This stake reduction should help stop extreme losses by those who can least afford it and protect the most vulnerable in society. Reducing the maximum stakes on FOBTs from £100 to £2 will help stop extreme losses by those who can least afford it.