Pension Secretary Esther McVey Breaks Rank On FOBTs

In the latest twist in the controversial debate on reducing the maximum sake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 all the way down to £2, the Pension Secretary, Esther McVey, has led a last minute cabinet revolve just hours before the Government was expected to announce the reduction in the maximum bet.Pension Secretary Esther McVey Breaks Rank On FOBTs

Drama at the last

The maximum stake of FOBTs has been under debate for some two years now, and just as it seemed to be coming to a head, this last second swerve has taken many by surprise.There have been vocal supporters from both sides making their opinions very clear for some time, but this is the first time a senior minister has broken rank from the Conservative party on this issue.Tracey Crouch, the UK Sports Minister, was expected to announce the reduction on May 10th (2018) but McVey seems to have derailed the plan at the last.The Pension Secretary had not spoken out on the issue previously, but stated on May 10th that she and her supporters were “strongly opposed” to the plan.

The debate

While, as stated, this conversation has been going on for some time, it has really heated up in recent months after the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) gave advice to the Government over FOBTs.The report from the UKGC said: “…a precautionary approach should involve a stake limit at or below £30 if it is to have a significant effect…”Since the report was made public, there has been debate from both sides, with operators claiming the losses to them could be disastrous, while the UKGC, Labour party members, and others have stated that the protection of vulnerable gamblers must take precedent, so the reduction is necessary.The debate looks set to continue.

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