Tracey Crouch will be ‘a huge loss’, says chair of parliamentary group on betting

Tracey Crouch will be ‘a huge loss’, says chair of parliamentary group on betting

Friday, November 2, 2018

Carolyn Harris, the chair of the fixed odds betting terminals all party parliamentary group has said that Tracey Crouch was a “principled woman” and a “huge loss” to the Government.

The Sports minister resigned on Thursday over delays on a crackdown on fixed odds betting machines, which would have seen the maximum amount reduced to £2 from £100 a time.

The Labour MP for Swansea East told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “I am disappointed because I think she will be a huge loss to the government’s frontbench.

“She is a principled woman and she is very brave.

“What she did yesterday proves that people like us who want to see the back of these dreadful machines are prepared to put the interests of people above party politics.”


'The whole thing is appalling' 


The reduction in bets will not be implemented until October next year, not April as expected.

Ms Harris described the situation as “appalling” and said the fixed odds betting machines need to “be gone”.

“When this was actually announced it said it would take between nine and 12 months and that is in the impact assessment that was done around the decision,” she said.  

“We have taken huge amounts of evidence in the all party group specifically from the machine operators who were told that they should be preparing.

“When we spoke to them at the beginning of October they hadn’t even started to prepare to get the stakes reduced on these machines.

“We pushed and pushed and they actually admitted that they only reason that they hadn’t prepared was because the bookies hadn’t instructed them to.

“Bookies are their customers. There is obviously something going on behind the scenes, which has given the bookies the arrogance to be able to say that they didn’t really need to be preparing.

“The whole thing is appalling and these machines need to be gone. They need to be sorted immediately.”