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Fixed Odds Betting Terminals: £2 maximum stake is ‘right decision’, says bishop

ABOVE: The Bishop of St Albans speaking in response to the Government’s announcement on 17th May

The Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, has welcomed Government plans to limit the maximum stake on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to £2.

Dr Alan Smith said the decision was an “essential” step in curbing the harm done by the machines, which he said have “taken advantage of the vulnerable for too long”.

He thanked ministers for their action, announced today as part of a package of measures in response to a Government consultation.

Bishop Alan had previously written to all members of the Church of England’s General Synod, encouraging them to respond to the consultation with evidence of the consequences of these machines for their communities.

In February 2017, General Synod voted unanimously to support a £2 maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals, and powers for local authorities to control the numbers of these machines on high streets.

Bishop Alan said: “Fixed-odds betting terminals are a scourge on high streets that have taken advantage of the vulnerable for too long.
“I am very glad the Government agrees that a £2 stake is an essential part of the solution.
“Of course, there is more work to be done, but the Government has made the right decision.
“I would like to thank the Prime Minister and her Government, particularly Minister Tracey Crouch MP and Secretary of State Matt Hancock MP for their admirable moral leadership.”

Notes to Editors

Details of the Synod’s 2017 motion can be found here.

The Government announcement here.

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