Rebels Force FOBT Climb Down

palace of westminster

The UK government has announced that it is reversing its decision to impose a stake reduction for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in October 2019, following a rebellion from MPs.

On Wednesday, the UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright confirmed that the government had changed its mind on the controversial decision, which had drawn considerable protest from lawmakers across all political parties.

The original announcement, made on the day of the UK Budget on October 29, said that the stake reduction, which was originally announced in May 2018, would not be introduced until October 2019, to allow betting companies to adjust to the new rules, and to coincide with the introduction of an increase in Remote Gaming Duty (RGD) for online casino operators.

But the announcement was widely condemned by a number of politicians, including the Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, who resigned over the issue. Senior figures such as former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith and former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also came out publicly to criticise the delay, along with a number of politicians in other parties.

Earlier this week, it was reported in the UK media that the rebellion had gathered large scale support and that up to 100 MPs were preparing to push ahead with an amendment that would have forced the government to bring forward the stake reduction.

Amid the mounting pressure from a number of sources, the government decided to change its plans and bring forward the new measures. It has also been confirmed that the planned RGD increase to 21 percent from 15 percent will be brought forward to April 2019 to offset the loss of Treasury revenue that will be the immediate result of the FOBT rule.

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