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May confirms delay to results of government's gaming machine review

Theresa May: challenged by Labour MP to reduce the maximum stake on FOBTs to £2
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Prime minister Theresa May says she recognises the concern surrounding the issue of maximum stakes for fixed-odds betting terminals but said the findings from the government's triennial review of gaming machines stakes and prizes will not be published until after June's general election.

May was challenged by Labour MP Stephen Timms at prime minister's questions on Wednesday to reduce the maximum stake on FOBTs to £2.

Timms argued that all the necessary data had been collected by the end of last year and asked why a response has been so long in coming from the government.

He asked: "Why do we still not have a result? Will she today show some leadership and reduce the maximum stake on these appalling machines to £2?"

During her response at what was the final PMQs before the election, May was heckled by one MP who shouted "get on with it" but stuck to her position.

"We are now in a situation where these things will be published after the purdah period and after the general election, so the Rt Hon Gentleman will have to wait for that response," she said.

"Obviously we recognise the concern over this issue and we will respond in due course."

The government had previously said it would announce news of the review in the spring but, with an election called, it cannot put forward any new or controversial initiatives.

As a result, news of the review could now come as late as October, meaning any changes arising from it would not come into force until October 2018.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson said last week: "The government is currently undertaking a review of stakes and prizes of gambling machines and their locations, which includes FOBTs.

"It is important that gambling regulations strike the right balance between allowing the industry to contribute to the economy and enable people to bet responsibly while ensuring consumers and communities are protected. The review will be published in due course."

We are now in a situation where these things will be published after the purdah period and after the general election
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