I understand the concerns of my constituents. We cannot ignore the evidence showing the impact these gaming machines can have on individuals and wider communities. Reducing the maximum stakes on FOBTs from £100 to £2 will help stop extreme losses by those who can least afford it.
I was pleased to add my name to the amendment calling for the Government to bring in the changes earlier. I am glad that myself and my colleagues were able to change the Government’s mind and that the change will now come into effect in April 2019.
Ministers expect the industry to work with them, as well as engage with the cross-Whitehall group that has been set up, to reduce any impact on jobs and to support staff that may be affected by the measure being brought forward.
Of course, there are other factors which contribute to problem gambling, which is why the Government is not making this change in isolation. Other actions include strengthening protections around gaming machines, online gambling, gambling advertising and treatment for problem gambling.