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Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 14 November 2018

The Government are today announcing that the implementation of changes to reduce the stakes of B2 gaming machines from £100 to £2 will take place in April 2019. This will be done through a statutory instrument, laid before the House this week.

Following the consultation on gaming machines and social responsibility measures, the Government decided to cut the maximum stake for fixed odds betting terminals to £2 to help stop extreme losses by those who can least afford it and protect the most vulnerable in our society.

After a thorough consultation with interested parties, including charities, campaigners and the gambling industry, across government we reached a decision to make this significant change in October 2019.

The Government have 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.

Parliament has, however, been clear it wants this change to be made sooner. The Government have listened and will now implement the reduction in April 2019.

In order to cover the negative impact on the public finances, and to protect vital public services, this change is being linked to an increase in remote gaming duty, paid by online gaming operators. The Finance Bill will also be amended so that the increase to remote gaming duty comes into effect in April 2019.

The Government will expect the gambling industry to work with it to reduce the effect of any impact on jobs and to support employees that may be affected by this expedited timeline. The cross-government group that has been set up is ready to assist.

Finally, the Government will continue to take action to protect vulnerable people, including strengthening protections around gaming machines, online gambling, gambling advertising and treatment for problem gambling.