Government wants addictive gambling machine clampdown

Gamblers could be given a £2-a-go spending limit on high stake machines, as the Government wants to review previously relaxed gambling regulations.

These high stake gaming machines have been branded the “crack cocaine” of betting, allowing gamblers to stake £100 a spin and up to £18,000 an hour.

But Don Foster, Liberal Democrat communities minister, wants a restriction of £2 a spin, the same as limits at bingo halls and casinos.


Mr Foster said there is no doubt these machines are “ruining people’s lives.”

He said: “Fixed odds betting terminals have incredibly high stakes and prizes. People chase their losses.”

Mr Foster added that they know from helplines the large numbers of people who are “getting into difficulty and need help.”


The Government has ordered a review of stakes, the number of these machines and the prize levels.

The previous Labour Government drastically liberalised gambling laws, but some senior figures now admit it was a “mistake.”

The number of fixed odds terminals has risen from 16,380 to 32,000 in five years.


Gareth Wallace, of the Salvation Army, said they “warmly welcome” the Government’s plans.

He said: “All the evidence is that they are far more addictive than other forms of gambling.”

Two months ago, the Commons culture committee called for fewer restrictions on the high stake machines.

The Government has rejected these recommendations and wants local councils to have the power to restrict the machines.

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