Churches back Tracey Crouch over delay in FOBT limits

Leaders of churches and Christian organisations have spoken out in support of Tracey Crouch following her resignation as the minister responsible for gambling.

The government have delayed introducing a £2 limit on FOBTs until October 2019. Following a wide ranging consultation the government announced earlier this year that the stake on these machines in betting shops would be cut from £100 to £2 to provide greater protection for the most vulnerable and limit the harm caused by problem gambling.

The statement, from leaders in the Church of England, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the United Reformed Church, the Church of Scotland, the Evangelical Alliance, CARE and Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs, supports Crouch’s resignation.

“For the last five years, since she raised the issue of the harmful impact of FOBTs in her Chatham constituency in a debate in Parliament, Tracey Crouch has been committed to achieving a sensible maximum stake as soon as possible. As a minister, she has shown unfailing loyalty to government policy, while not concealing her real concern. We echo the tributes that have been made to her consistent, principled approach.

“No valid reasons have been given for delaying implementation of the £2 stake. Individuals, families and communities will continue to suffer - at the cost, even, of more avoidable deaths - for six months beyond April 2019, unless the government accepts that the same reasons which led it to accept the change must lead it to bring the date forward.”

Mark Sheard, Chair of the Mission and Public Affairs Council, Church of England

Bala Gnanapragasam, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

Rev Stephen Keyworth, Baptist Union of Great Britain

Rev John Proctor, General Secretary, United Reformed Church

Rev Dr Richard Frazer, Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland

Dr David Landrum, Director of Advocacy, Evangelical Alliance

Alison Mather, Director, Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs

Nola Leach, Chief Executive, CARE

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Notes to editors

  1. A similar coalition of churches and charities welcomed the government announcement in May 2018:

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