Sunday 9 December 2018
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theguardian - 25 days ago

What reason did Philip Hammond have for delaying FBOT reform?

It is suspected that lobbyists took a punt on the Treasury that very nearly paid outYou’d think the Treasury, in the midst of Brexit, would have enough on its plate without picking unnecessary fights over fixed-odds betting terminals that end in humiliating retreat. Defeat duly arrived on Wednesday as the government capitulated and said, yes, maximum stakes will be reduced to £2 from next April, rather than the October 2019 date announced by chancellor Philip Hammond in the budget. What on earth possessed Hammond to try to delay reform?In doing so, he ignored the recommendation in the gambling review that the £2 limit should be adopted within nine to 12 months. That document was published in May, leaving April 2019 – the start of a new financial year – as a natural date for introduction. Hammond’s choice of next October carried no rhyme or reason. This, remember, is a policy designed to reduce harm caused by gambling addiction. If a government is convinced it needs to act, surely it would wish to do so as soon as possible. Continue reading...

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