Waiting Game… Unsure Hammond delays industry FOBTs judgement

UK news sources have this morning, reported that the government will delay once more it’s pending triennial review judgement on industry FOBTs wagering and advertising standards.

Parliament insiders have detailed that UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond, has put the government’s decision ‘on hold’, with the judgement to be made following the conclusion of England’s local council elections on 3 May.

According to The Times, Hammond’s treasury has refused to sign off on a final decision, as the department remains in-doubt of being able to replace the lost duties on FOBTs machine wagers.

In its spring statement, the Office of Budget Responsibility detailed that FOBTs machines could raise circa £74 million of the forecasted £119 million in UK machine gaming duties for the period up to 2023.

Delaying the government’s long-awaited judgement, The Times further reports that Chancellor Hammond has rejected the ‘package of measures’ put forward by industry supervisor the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

For months, UK gambling stakeholders have anticipated a drastic reduction to FOBTs wagering levels, widely estimated to be below the £20 level.

This March, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) delivered its parliamentary recommendations for the UK gambling sector primarily focusing on potential FOBTs provisions and reducing harm.

The delay will see the UK betting sector wait more than a whole year for the government to deliver its pending judgement on FOBTs, a matter that was originally meant to be decided last April 2017.

UK news sources now speculate that betting leadership will seek to negotiate a ‘backroom deal’ with the government to avoid the ‘nightmare scenario’ of stake reduction to £2 level.

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