After questions in the House of Commons, tax increases and a storm of crazed headlines, the government response to the FOBT debate might finally have doused the flames of this bitter debate.

Well, who would have thought Ralph Topping would be the voice of reason?

“The proposed recommendations are a balanced response, and we will now work to develop and embed the necessary IT changes and enhanced compliance framework,” said the William Hill chief executive yesterday.

Back in January, Topping was tweeting like a deranged teenager as his fury over hysterical Daily Mail “crack cocaine of gambling” headlines spilled over into an online spat with the Campaign for Fairer Gambling.

However, the image of Topping as a hothead is somewhat overblown. His response to government moves, which will likely harm his company’s revenue growth if not its market position, was a canny move.

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