Bath’s Lib Dem MP has angrily criticised the government for again delaying plans to stop high-stakes betting machines wrecking the lives of families, especially in deprived areas.
She said “Players can lose up to £300 a minute on these machines, known as FOBTs, and they are designed to be highly addictive. They are literally destroying lives - two people a day commit suicide because of gambling addiction."
"This is a tragedy for thousands of families and it’s a scandal that the Government is conspiring with the big bookmakers to allow it to continue. FOBTs are concentrated in deprived areas and so they are effectively a tax on the poor."
“Lib Dems have been campaigning for years to cut the maximum stake from £100 to £2 to fix the problem. The government eventually agreed but now they have decided to delay the change until October next year, after being lobbied by their friends in the big betting PLCs.
“I applaud the responsible Minister, Tracey Crouch, for resigning over this betrayal in the Budget of the families who will become new victims of these machines over the next year. The Tories have chosen to side with the big bookies and their profits rather than with the welfare of gambling addicts and their families."
“If I get an opportunity to vote in Parliament to reverse this disgraceful decision, I will certainly do exactly that.”