The Prime Minister has said that the maximum stake gamblers can wager on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) will be reduced.
FOBTs, known as the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling, are highly addictive in nature and have been closely linked with problem gambling.
During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Theresa May said the maximum stake of £100 per spin “will be cut” – but did not reveal by how much.
Former Government minister John Hayes had urged the Prime Minister to reduce the maximum stake of the machines that he said cause “devastation, debt and despair”.
“The stakes are too high to gamble with our children’s futures”, he added.
Mrs May replied: “We are clear that the Fixed-Odds Betting Terminal stakes will be cut to make sure we have a safe and sustainable industry where vulnerable people and children are protected.”
However, she added that a final decision on what the reduction would be would be made “in due course”.
A Government consultation on gambling, including reducing the maximum stake on FOBTs, closed earlier this week. The consultation proposed four new options for a maximum stake ranging from £50 to £2.
In its response to the consultation, The Christian Institute called for the £2 option, the lowest on offer, to be applied.
It said the harm that the machines “cause to individuals and communities is irrefutable”.
Earlier this week, a former gambling addict told The Guardian newspaper that it would be “catastrophic” if the Government fails to reduce the maximum stake to £2.
Martin Paterson said: “There are horrendous feelings of guilt that come with an addiction like this. It’s silent but at its worst it takes lives.”
Paterson now campaigns against the machines, highlighting their addictive nature.