High-stakes machines crack-down target

Aug 8, 2017 3:00 AM

British Chancellor Philip Hammond is blocking government attempts to curb high-stakes gambling machines commonly found in betting shops in an effort to to preserve tax revenues the government collects through the machines, according to a Daily Mail newspaper report last week.

Britain’s ministry for culture, media and sports, which regulates the gambling industry, has been studying whether to limit the maximum wagers that should be allowed on gambling machines, including those known as fixed-odds betting terminals.

The sports minister overseeing the review, Tracey Crouch, described the Daily Mail article as “fake news” on Twitter, without giving further details.

These machines currently allow gamblers to bet as much as 100 pounds ($130) every 20 seconds in electronic versions of casino games like roulette. Some British lawmakers have asked for restrictions that would limit the maximum bet on such machines to only 2 pounds ($2.60).

The Daily Mail cited a government source saying the loss of taxes would be “financially crippling.” Crouch told parliament in June that the review would not appear until October at the earliest.