Thank you for contacting me.
I support the reduction in the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals to £2.
I appreciate your concerns about the impact of the proposed changes and that fixed odds betting terminals are important to the economic viability of many betting shops, which currently employ around 53,000 people nationally. However, we cannot ignore the evidence that has been presented on the potential impact these types of gaming machines can have on individuals and wider communities.
There has been a shift in attitudes within the industry, with more focus on social responsibility. However, Ministers are concerned that self-regulation has had a limited impact in tackling problem gambling and there are still large numbers of higher-staking machines in accessible locations, often in more deprived areas, where it is possible to lose a large amount of money very quickly.
In 2016 the Government launched a review into gaming machines and social responsibility, with Ministers concluding that further action is necessary to strike the right balance between enabling people to bet responsibly and ensuring consumers and communities are protected.
I therefore support today’s announcement.