I entirely share your concern about the level of harm caused by these gaming machines. The Government has always been clear that protecting vulnerable people is the prime concern but that as a responsible government it is also right to take the needs of those employed by the gambling industry into account and provide time for an orderly transition. It was for this reason that the change was originally due to be implemented in October 2019. My parliamentary colleagues and I were clear, however, that we wanted this change to be made as soon as possible and I was delighted, therefore, that the Government listened, with the reduction now coming into effect in April 2019.
The corresponding increase in remote gaming duty to 21 per cent will also come into effect at this time to cover the negative impact on public finances and to protect vital public services.
I strongly support the introduction of the stake reduction, which will help stop extreme losses by those who can least afford it and protect the most vulnerable in society.