Treasury stalling over limits to stakes on terminals that can take £18,000 every hour
The government has signalled that it is preparing to clamp down on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) – the gambling machines described as the “crack cocaine” of the betting world. But the extent to which the machines will be controlled is dividing the Treasury and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The move is indicated in a letter, seen by the Observer, from the chancellor, Philip Hammond, to the Bishop of St Albans, who has been leading Church of England criticism of the betting industry’s use of the machines. The church believes the machines have a “devastating” impact on many of those who play them and have been responsible for a rising tide of violence in some communities.