tracey crouch

Without a Trace: Crouch resigns from DCMS over FOBT fallout

Tracey Crouch has resigned from her position at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sports (DCMS), just days after the government announced a delay on the implementation of the FOBT stake reduction.  

Crouch had served as Sports Minister since 2015, leading the government’s relations with the UK betting and gambling sectors.

Monday’s 2018 Budget announcement saw the Treasury confirm that it would implement its controversial £2 FOBT cut on October 2019, alongside an increase in remote gaming duty (RGD) from 15-21%.

Expecting the government to confirm that it would move ahead with a desired April 2019 deadline on FOBTs, Crouch and fellow cross-party ministers had deemed the delay as ‘unjustifiable’.

Despite protests, the government has stood by its decision, stating that it needed to maintain its October 2019 date in order to avoid any shortfall in industry taxes.

The £2 reduction on FOBTs wagering has become a controversial matter for the government, leading to a well-documented rift between DCMS and the Treasury.

Publishing her letter of resignation to PM Theresa May, Crouch, stated that the government’s decision was an ‘unnecessary measure’ and that FOBTs wagering would continue to target the UK’s most deprived areas including her constituency of Chatham and Aylesford in Kent.

“The alignment of the stake reduction with an increase in remote gaming duty was a condition put on by the Treasury to provide fiscal neutrality but is not a technical necessity,” she added, “so there is no reason why implementation cannot come sooner than October.”

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