THE maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) will be restricted to £2, the government has announced.
According to the government, the move will cut the risk of potentially large financial losses from the controversial machines as well as harm to both players and wider communities.
The decision goes further than the recommendations of a review carried out by the gambling regulator earlier this year, which recommended the maximum stake for FOBTs should be set at or below £30.
Culture secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘When faced with the choice of halfway measures or doing everything we can to protect vulnerable people, we have chosen to take a stand.
‘These machines are a social blight and prey on some of the most vulnerable in society, and we are determined to put a stop to it and build a fairer society for all.’
Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has welcomed the news, saying that the announcement is ‘long overdue’.
He said: ‘I have been campaigning to tackle the widespread proliferation of fixed-odds betting terminal gambling for some time, calling on the government to do more to prevent the harm caused by such machines.
‘A record £1.82bn was lost by players on FOBTs last year.
‘I welcome the long overdue announcement by Government today finally taking action on these terminals. Reducing the maximum stake will help provide vital protection for the families and individuals across our city and country.
‘My thanks to The News and all those involved in this important campaign.’