UK finance statesman hampers gambling curbs

Advertisment

British finance minister Philip Hammond has shaped government attempts to curb high-stakes gaming machines commonly found in betting stores to conserve tax credits, the Daily Mail newspaper published on Saturday.

Britain’s ministry of culture, media and sports, which controls the gambling business, started a consultation in October into the highest wagers that should be admitted on gaming machines, including those identified as fixed-odds betting terminals.

These devices currently allow gamblers to bet as much as 100 pounds ($130) every 20 seconds in electronic versions of casino games like roulette, and some British administrators have declared for this to be decreased to 2 pounds.

The Daily Mail cited a power source as saying Britain’s investment ministry feared this would be “financially crippling” for tax funds, and separately said Hammond had acted to secure a clampdown on maximum gambling stakes was suspended.

The culture and sports ministry announced in a report on Saturday that its review into stakes and prizes given by gaming machines was still underway, and is anticipated to publish its results in the autumn. Crouch told Parliament in June that the study would not appear until October at the earliest.

Lawmakers objected to the machines say they account for more than half of bookmakers’ earnings and caused gamblers to lose 1.7 billion pounds in 2015. The Daily Mail said the devices carried in more than 400 million pounds a year in tax incomes.