April 24, 2018 / 3:19 PM / a year ago

Britain's Treasury 'fully supports' work on toughening up gambling rules

A man sits at a fixed odds betting terminal in a betting shop in London, Britain October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s finance ministry said on Tuesday it fully supported a government proposal to toughen up gambling rules, saying reports that it was worried about losing tax revenues were speculative.

Shares in bookmakers including William Hill, GVC Holdings and Paddy Power Betfair, fell sharply on Tuesday after newspaper reports said the government would cut the maximum stake on lucrative fixed-odds betting terminals to 2 pounds, the steepest cut under consideration.

But The Times newspaper said Britain’s finance minister Philip Hammond was opposed to the changes because he was worried about a loss in tax revenue.

“We are fully supportive of DCMS’s (Department of Culture, Media and Sport) work to ensure the UK’s gambling regime continues to balance the needs of vulnerable people, consumers who gamble responsibly and those who work in this sector,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

“Any speculation on gambling taxes is just that.”

Reporting by Paul Sandle

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