Ministers cut betting machine stakes from £100 to £2

Fixed odds betting terminals are twice as likely to be found in the poorest local authorities

Fixed odds betting terminals are twice as likely to be found in the poorest local authorities

The UK government is to introduce new rules to govern the terminals which are found in may betting shops.

.

Britain will cut the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals to just £2 after the government rejected claims that it would damage the industry in favour of efforts to tackle problem gambling.

The country's Gambling Commission had already called in March for the maximum stake to be cut to no more than £30.

Over £10m was inserted into 75 FOBT's spread across 21 Flintshire betting shops in 2016 with punters losing around £2.5m, over half of that was in Deeside where between 2008 and 2016 almost £10m has been lost in FOTB's.

It's very concerning that these machines are disproportionately found in the poorer parts of society and therefore are having a devastating effect on some of the most vulnerable in society.

The government's announcement was welcomed by Cllr Vince Maple, Medway Labour Group leader and a long-time campaigner against fixed-odds betting terminals. "It's sad that huge profits seem to be of more importance than the wellbeing of the most vulnerable".

The decision deals a blow to bookmakers however, who had argued that the terminals were a major source of income for high-street shops which are struggling to stay afloat as younger gamblers move online, putting jobs at risk.

"Problem gambling can devastate individuals' lives, families and communities", she said.

William Hill said the new regulation could lead to a 35 to 45 per cent reduction in annual total gaming net revenue. It vowed to engage with the gambling industry to ensure it was given sufficient time to implement and complete the technological changes.

Civil society minister Tracey Crouch, who is MP for Chatham and Aylesford, said the machines were being curtailed to "stop extreme losses by those who can least afford it".

While we want a healthy gambling industry that contributes to the economy, we also need one that does all it can to protect players. We will work with the industry on the impact of these changes and are confident that this innovative sector will step up and help achieve this balance.

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.

- A multimillion-pound advertising campaign promoting responsible gambling. In addition it will launch a probe into the public health impact of betting.

- A review of age limits for National Lottery games at the time of the next licence competition.