UK reverses delay to gambling machine reform after outcry

LONDON (AP) — The British government says it will cut the maximum stake on electronic slot machines from 100 pounds ($130) to 2 pounds ($2.60) in April — reversing an unpopular decision to delay the move.

The government agreed to reduce the maximum wager on fixed-odds betting terminals to help tackle problem gambling. Critics of the machines, found in betting shops across the country, say they are addictive and players can quickly lose large sums.

Last month, the government announced the change would happen in October 2019, rather than April as many expected.

Sports Minister Tracy Crouch quit, calling the delay unjustifiable.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said in a statement Wednesday that the lowered limit would take effect in April after all.

Crouch says she is “really pleased that common sense has prevailed.”