Tracey Crouch vows to join backbench rebellion over gambling machines

FORMER Sports Minister Tracey Crouch yesterday pledged to join a backbench rebellion over addictive gambling machines.

In an interview on Radio 5 Live she revealed her personal anguish at the delay to the stake reduction on FOBTs saying she “couldn’t tolerate it” after contact with so many victims and their families.

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Tracey Crouch resigned as Sports Mminister over delay to gambling curb[/caption]

She quit last week after plans to ut the £100 maximum stake on the controversial fixed odds terminals to £2 was put back from April until next October in the Budget.

And she confirmed she was now free to vote for an amendment to the Government’s finance bill tabled by campaigning MPs.

She said: “I will be able to support that now.”

In her first radio interview she told how it was a “fact” that some MPs are “very interested in the bookmaking industry” – a direct jibe at her Tory colleague Philip Davies.

PA:Press Association

According to Crouch, MPs interested in the betting industry, like Tory colleague Philip Davies, are responsible for the delay[/caption]

She said Mr Davies was “very vocal in Parliament on behalf of the betting industry”.

She added: “Clearly they were more persuasive in their arguments than I was.”

Currently people can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on electronic casino games like roulette.

Asked about her resignation yesterday, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire insisted there was no delay because no official date to curb the stake had been set.

PA:Press Association

Crouch told Radio 5 that she ‘couldn’t tolerate’ the delay after being in contact with victims and their families[/caption]

He said: “What I would say is that actually we were called on to introduce these arrangements prior to April 2020 and we have brought that forward to deliver this in October 2019, recognising we need to do this, we need to bring these stakes down.

“We want to see this delivered effectively, for all the reasons Tracey identifies. But it is wrong to say there has been a delay.”

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