Sports minister resigns over betting machine row

Sports minister Tracey Crouch has resigned from government following delays on a cap for stakes on fixed odds betting machines.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced in his budget on Monday that the policy to limit the maximum bet per spin on the machines to £2 would not be implemented until October 2019, having been originally scheduled for April 2019.

The machines currently allow punters to gamble £100 every 20 seconds, leading campaigners to argue that this creates huge financial problems for those who are addicted.

In her resignation letter to the prime minister, Tracey Crouch said: “From the time of the announcement to reduce stakes and its implementation over £1.6bn will be lost on these machines.

“In addition, two people will tragically take their lives every day due to gambling related problems and for that reason as much as any other I believe this delay is unjustifiable.”

Prime Minister Theresa May responded by saying there had been “no delay in bringing forward this important measure”

Within a series of tweets, Crouch stated that: “politicians come and go but principles stay with us forever.”

Before becoming MP for Chatham and Aylesford, Crouch worked as a football coach and managed a girls’ youth football team.

During her time as Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Crouch also commissioned a review into safe standing at football grounds.


Words: Charlie Bradley | Subbing: Matthew Smith

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