Sunday Mirror claims government is to reduce stake on FOBTs to £2 a spin

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The Campaign for Fairer Gambling writes about recent comments from bookmakers on FOBT stake levels, in advance of the Government decision expected shortly.

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In the same week the CEO of Ladbrokes sold £380,000 worth of shares in his company, the Sunday Mirror reported that Ministers were planning to reduce the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to £2 a spin. A reduction to £2 a spin would eliminate the addictive, high-speed roulette and casino content from the bookies’ machines, as a Whitehall source disclosed: “That’s the point of a £2 stake. But it’s not the message we want to put out publicly.”

Despite reports to the contrary, a source close to the Treasury told the Mirror they were not opposing a £2 stake, paving the way for gambling Minister Tracey Crouch – who has led the review – and Secretary of State Matthew Hancock, to come to the evidence-based decision of backing £2.

Fairer Gambling’s Matt Zarb-Cousin drew the parallel between drug addiction and problem gambling in an op-ed for the Sunday Mirror, describing FOBTs as a “Class A” gambling product, while Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on FOBTs Carolyn Harris highlighted the political consensus around £2 being the most appropriate level. She also wrote for LabourList.

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