Maximum stake on bookies fixed-odds betting terminals cut to £2

Bookies brace for big hit as Government caps FOBT stakes at £2

Ministers vow to 'protect the vulnerable' by slashing maximum stake on 'crack cocaine' gambling machines from £100 to £2

Following analysis of consultation responses and advice from the Gambling Commission, the government said it believes a cut to £2 will best achieve this.

But Government bosses said the limit will cut the risk of potentiall large financial losses.

Bookmakers should come under pressure on Thursday after the United Kingdom government confirmed it will cut the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) to £2 from the current £100 in a bid to curb problem gambling.

Media captionWhat are fixed odds betting terminals?

You will also see FOBTs in casinos and at racetracks as well, but most can be found in the bookies, with each betting shop allowed no more than four on their premises but over 34,000 of them now across the UK.

Chief Executive of Sky Betting & Gaming, Richard Flint, hit back at the government's plans to increase remote gaming duty to make up for a loss of revenue caused by cutting FOBTs stakes. Gambling addiction is a real worry for some families and I think it is appalling how some betting companies have targeted poorer communities to put certain machines in.

The betting terminals, previously described as the "crack cocaine of gambling", have been controversial for the huge losses that can be built up in a short space of time.

"I welcome the fact that the Government has now agreed that the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals should be reduced to £2".

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The opposition Labour Party's deputy leader Tom Watson said on his Facebook page: "This announcement signals the end of the reign of destruction and misery that FOBTs have brought on the lives of gambling addicts and their families and communities for too many years".

The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) warned the move will be a "hammer blow" to High Street bookmakers and threaten thousands of jobs.

The government said the Gambling Commission would also toughen up protections around online gambling such as stronger age verification rules and proposals that require operators to set limits on gamblers' spending until affordability checks have been conducted.

The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) has amended its code to ensure that a responsible gambling message will appear for the duration of all TV adverts.

"It is also welcome to see that Public Health England will be looking into gambling related harm which simply doesn't have the support it now needs".

As part of the next licence competition the age limit for playing National Lottery games will be reviewed, to take into accounts developments in the market and the risk of harm to young people.

GVC said it was disappointed with the decision which it expects to have a £160m impact on annual earnings in the first full year after the change - but it has taken steps to be prepared, including a deal which effectively linked the price it is paying for Ladbrokes Coral to the outcome of the gambling review.

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