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Lee Davy
UK News

Christian charity 'alarmed' over reported gov U-turn on betting

The review was questioning whether the maximum stake placed on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) should be reduced from £100 to just £2.

Earlier this year an parliamentary group published a report highlighting the impacts FOBTs have on society.

It's reported FOBTs contributed to 96 per cent of all losses over £1,000 in betting shops.

Whilst it appeared the government was ready to address the issue, newspaper reports over the weekend suggested the plans were vetoed because of the tax revenue generated each year - totalling £440m.

Betting Shops on the high street - Copyright IO8 Photography / REX

Addressing the reports, CARE's Chief Executive Nola Leach said: "CARE is very disappointed that the government appears to be placing much more value on the tax revenue collected from these machines than to the harm they cause to society and to vulnerable people.

"FOBTs are predominantly found clustered in economically deprived areas and it is a growing concern that their presence there deliberately targets vulnerable people.

"Theresa May's government was supposed to be defined around the idea of creating a Britain that works for everyone, but it's clear that FOBTs do not fit into this narrative. FOBTs may work for the bookmakers and the taxman - but not for problem gamblers, their families or society as a whole."

In a statement to Premier, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport rejected the reports.

A spokesperson said: "The government is currently undertaking a review of stakes and prizes of gambling machines, that includes Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. The review will be published in the Autumn."

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