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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Bradley says government set to outline a number of options

The government's gambling review is expected to be published this month
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Culture secretary Karen Bradley has told MPs the government's gambling review, which is expected to be published this month, will set out a "number of options" on different aspects of gambling.

The main focus of the review has been on FOBT stakes with campaigners demanding a cut in the maximum to as little as £2 from £100.

Bookmakers have said such a cut would lead to hundreds of betting shop closures, thousands of job losses and a financial blow to racing through lost levy and media rights.

There has been speculation the review will set out a number of options on stakes including £2, the status quo and two figures in between.

Appearing before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Wednesday evening, Bradley said that the government's gambling review was set to be published this month and would be followed by a full consultation.

"It will be a full 12-week consultation and it will put forward a number of options on many different aspects of gambling," she added.

Bookmakers have called for the government to take an evidence-based decision on gaming machine stakes.

Asked if it would be an evidence-based review, Bradley said: "We are giving due weight to all the evidence, you will see the evidence with the consultation.

"This is of course a very wide-ranging review covering a number of aspects of gambling and you will see that with a full 12-week consultation with options available in a number of areas."

Aside from the review of gaming machine stakes, the review is examining issues such as social responsibility measures and gambling advertising.

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson, who is also shadow culture spokesman, recently called for gambling operators to be banned from advertising on football shirts.

Bradley reiterated that was not on the government's agenda.

"It certainly is not something we are considering at the moment," she said.

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It will be a full 12-week consultation and it will put forward a number of options on many different aspects of gambling
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