I’ve called on Ministers to re-think delaying a change that could help avoid people getting sucked into gambling addiction.
In my speech in Parliament on the budget, I warned the decision to push back the start of the £2 maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from April to October will cost lives.
Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) are known as the crack cocaine of gambling, with players winning or losing up to £100 every 20 seconds. The Government has promised to limit the maximum stake on these machines to £2, but announced a delay in bringing in the measure, in Monday’s budget.
My constituent Jack Ritchie tragically took his own life, aged just 24, following gambling addiction. Jack began gambling while at secondary school, playing on FOBTs at the nearby bookies.
The Chancellor’s failure to introduce the curb on FOBTs sooner rather than later risks more families facing tragedy, like Jack’s.
I will keep up the pressure. You can read my speech on the budget here.