Mr. Philip Hammond, England’s finance minister, has stopped the government’s attempts to curb gambling machines that have high stakes. One can find these machines in betting shops across the country. The Daily Mail reported that Mr. Hammond blocked these attempts to save tax revenues. He also attended a finance meeting with Brazil on July 31st.
Britain has an entire ministry dedicated to regulating actions within the culture category. While the ministry involves the regulation and discussions of gambling in the country, it also includes media, sports, and other events. This department decided to discuss the maximum bets that should be allowed on gaming machines back in October. The devices discussed included the machines known as fixed-odds betting terminals.
Currently, the maximum wager is 100-pounds. The 100-pound bet is allowed to be made every 20 seconds through electronic betting machines, casino games, etc. However, many lawmakers have announced the idea of reducing that maximum to a measly 2 pounds.
Philip Hammond and other members of the English finance ministry are worried about this proposal because they say it could be “financially crippling” for the country reports Daily Mail. It would hurt tax revenues by a significant amount as well. Mr. Hammond was said to have been working hard on shelving the idea of a lower maximum wager for gambling machines.
Tracey Crouch, the minister of sports, weighed in via Twitter calling the article “Fake News.” A statement was released by the culture and sports ministry on Saturday. They reported that they were still reviewing the idea of lowering stakes, specifically on electronic gambling machines and that they would draw a conclusion soon. They expect to announce their findings and future actions sometime this autumn. Mrs. Crouch added that the review would not be announced until October at best. The finance ministry did not comment on this statement.
Those lawmakers who are against the use of gambling machines added that these devices cost gamblers to lose 1.7 billion pounds in the year 2015, while also accounting for over half of English bookmakers’ profits. These machines were also reported to have brought in over 400 million pounds annually for tax revenues.
Due to the fear of these curbs commencing, many bookmakers’ share prices have fallen greatly. The country is concerned that if these curbs activated, then high-street gambling options will become less attractive and gamblers will turn to online casinos.