Welsh Government to be given power over FOBTs

Coinslot, FOBTs, Jo Stevens,
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The licensing and regulation of high-stakes gambling machines in Wales will be given to the Welsh Assembly, the UK Government has confirmed.

Pressure from within the Labour party has led to the amendment to the Wales Bill as peers prepare for a final parliamentary debate on it.

Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens called it an important victory:

“Responsible gambling can be harmless fun, but these machines…are causing real and lasting damage.”

The DCMS is already conducting its own review of FOBTs as part of a general review into gaming machines following growing pressure over the potentially harmful betting practices associated with them.

 

Responsible gambling can be harmless fun, but these machines…are causing real and lasting damage.

 

It is estimated that there are more than 1,500 FOBTs in Wales on which more than £1.6bn is staked annually.

The controls will only apply to new machines, with betting shops already being limited to four of these units in a single shop.

These controls, previously held by Westminster, have already been devolved to Scotland and the amendment to bill was previously suggested by Labour AM Baroness Morgan in November.

Much of the power the bill will give the Welsh Government will depend on their ability to secure a good deal with the Treasury, which is expected later this month.


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