A move to cut the maximum stake on FOBTs is set to be announced by the treasury in two weeks. Chancellor Philip Hammond had previously delayed the decision over the issue of lost tax revenue from the machines.
The government said in January that the maximum stake on FOBTs would be cut from £100 a spin to somewhere between £50 and £2, with the result to be decided after submissions from the industry and campaigners.
Treasury insiders said Hammond has never opposed moves to reduce the stake, but was insistent no other public services lose out from the machines which raise more than £450 million a year for the exchequer. Election purdah rules mean that any announcement must wait until after local elections next week.
The shift in tone from the treasury comes after a number of high profile Conservatives intimated they would be willing to rebel if the government did not back a reduction to £2.
Treasury insiders have said that in relation to a decision being made “we are very nearly there” with an agreement between Hammond and culture secretary Matt Hancock being “imminent”.