After last week’s announcement that the £2 cap on maximum stake will be brought forward to April 2019, from October 2019, the UK government today decided not to oppose my successful amendment to the Finance Bill, which inserts a New Clause requiring a review of the public health effects of these gambling terminals.
Research from Landman Economics has shown that the average FOBT user loses £192 a month, with the average user of machines already capped at £2 a spin losing just £22 in comparison.
The latest Tory climbdown on FOBTs shows that the UK government are being forced to bow to the immense political and public pressure from the SNP and other stakeholders. The argument has been won and it’s now time to understand the wider impact of gambling, especially on public health.
The UK government must now act on this successful SNP amendment, and undertake a full review of FOBTs and their impact on public health to tackle the devastating damage that these machines cause.
This is an issue that I and others will continue to campaign on to reduce the scourge of gambling related harm.