U.K. Culture Secretary Andy Burnham has authorized a plan that will see the doubling of the maximum stakes of gaming machines in pubs and arcades.
Lobbying by operators of Category C slot machines resulted in the increase of the maximum stake, which will go from 50 pence to £1. The corresponding maximum jackpot will also double, going from £35 to £70.
According to The Times, a government document indicated that the Culture Department consented to the change because of difficulties faced by many operators, due to the current economic climate.
Even Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who opposed the anticipated liberalization of gambling from the time he took office, sees economic sense in the increased stakes.
Responding to criticism by several senior bishops, The Times reports, Brown rejected “moralistic” objections in times of a stagnant economy.
The move is expected to generate an extra 20 percent in revenue for operators and £27 million in VAT.