MPs: AWP machine pay-outs should rise

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gambling, Democracy, Richard caborn

Gambling minister Richard Caborn has suggested that an increase in the maximum pay-out on pub gaming machines could soon be on the cards. The...

Gambling minister Richard Caborn has suggested that an increase in the maximum pay-out on pub gaming machines could soon be on the cards.

The increase to £35 will only occur if it can be shown to not fuel crime or harm vulnerable people and children.

On Monday, opposition MPs called for the maximum pay-out on 'Category C' machines - the most common in pubs - to be raised from £25 to £35. This is in line with recommendations of the Gaming Board, the regulatory body for gambling.

Caborn said the Government would only act 'as long as all the conditions were met, including protecting the vulnerable and children, and ensuring that activities are crime-free'.

'If those can be satisfactorily concluded, I have no doubt that we can move forward.'

Caborn was also referring to Government plans to raise the stake from 30p to 50p.

Government can raise the pay-out and stakes without having to amend current laws. It is in talks with the pub and leisure industry about the best action to take.

Last week, All Party Parliamentary Beer Group chairman John Grogan submitted an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling for the pay-out to be raised to £35 and the stake to 50p.

As the Morning Advertiser went to press, 10 MPs have signed the EDM, including Tory gambling spokesman Malcolm Moss and his Liberal Democrat counterpart Don Foster.

The EDM laments the 'severe decline in [machine] income ... particularly in rural and community pubs'. British Beer and Pub Association director of pubs and leisure Martin Rawlings said gaming machines sales in pubs have fallen 25% in the past couple of years.

Rawlings said: 'People have stopped playing machines in pubs because of the competition, particularly from betting shops where pay-outs are higher.'

Related topics: Legislation

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