UK chancellor wants to scrap FOBT review amidst claims of fake news

8 Aug 2017

UK chancellor wants to scrap FOBT review amidst claims of fake newsThe Daily Mail published  a government review on Saturday claiming that the proposed reduction on the maximum stake on fixed odd betting terminals has been dropped.

According to the report, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond made a key intervention in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s review. He suggested that if it was to be passed, it would become ‘financially crippling’ to tax revenues.

Tracey Crouch, the sports minister who oversees the review, has denied the report, claiming the all familiar “fake news” allegations. He insisted that the review is still underway and will offer its conclusions  sometime in October.

The annual turnover on FOBT in UK is up to £1.8bn, with Treasury tax incomes amounting for £400m from this product alone.

Following the fears of legislation changes, retail bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill share prices have plummeted. According to industry experts and analysts, these changes are believed to favor online bookmakers and prove to be detrimental to land based retailers.

The Chancellors’ economic conclusion has been rejected by some member of parliament.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on FOBTs said: “The Treasury should look at the unsustainable cost to the public purse of dealing with the problems of crime, addiction and social harm on Britain’s high streets because of the exorbitant stakes on FOBTs”.

Gambling policy remains the main agenda of the government, especially after the Brexit that caused significant contractions to the state coffers.

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