Business

Fixed odds betting terminals £2 stake limit delayed until 2020

The cap on betting machine wagers announced in May will not come into force for two years, it has emerged.

A new £2 maximum stake had been expected to come in at least a year earlier, but The Times reported today that it will be postponed following discussions between bookies and the treasury.

It is not the first time the treasury has frustrated the process. Last year it was reported that Philip Hammond could block the review into fixed odds betting terminals, out of concern for the treasury's coffers.

This latest action is said to have dismayed ministers at the department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS).

Meanwhile campaigners have expressed outrage.

SNP MP Ronnie Cowan, who is the vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on FOBTs, said: “The Treasurys argument is that they need to make up the shortfall in the revenue they stand to lose.

"I dont think its beyond the combined financial wisdom of the entire Treasury to solve that conundrum before next November and include it in this years Finance Bill. They just need to find the will and take the required necessary actions to reduce gambling related harm.”

Shares in bookmakers trailed today, with William Hill trading down 1.1 per cent, GVC Holdings fell two per cent and Paddy Power was down 1.4 per cent.

Read more: Luck has run out for the bookies

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