Diocese of Manchester

    Fixed Odds Betting decision welcomed

    The Bishop of St Albans, who campaigned to limit the maximum stake on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals to £2, has welcomed the Government's plans to consult on the matter.

    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 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." 

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