MORE than two million adults in the UK are at risk of becoming addicted to gambling, a new report has claimed.
The Gambling Commission has warned that the government is not moving fast enough to protect gamblers.
Six in 10 adults have gambled during the past year, the industry regulator found.
The findings come after The News launched a campaign calling for restrictions on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTS).
Currently gamblers can wager up to £100 every 20 seconds on the machines, but we want the government to impose a £10 maximum.
Tim Miller, the Gambling Commission’s executive director, said: ‘We have a clear commitment to make gambling fairer and safer and these figures show that this is a significant challenge.
‘Success will depend upon us, the industry, government and others, all working together with a shared purpose to protect consumers.
‘The pace of change to date simply hasn’t been fast enough.
‘More needs to be done to address problem gambling.’
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is due to give its recommendations to government in October.
Figures from the campaign Stop The FOBTs said a total of £53,297,234 in cash was spent in the machines across Portsmouth, Fareham, Havant and Gosport in 2016.
THE Association of British Bookmakers said: ‘The Gambling Commission report reveals UK problem gambling levels are stable and have been since reporting began nearly 20 years ago.
‘With most problem gamblers undertaking gambling in a range of venues, a focus on a single product, such as machines in betting shops, is misplaced and the gambling industry as a whole needs to focus on identifying individuals with gambling problems and those at risk of harm. This places responsibility on all sectors of the gambling industry to collectively take steps to identify problem gamblers and point them to support services that can help.’