Fixed odds betting machines maximum stake slashed to £2


She said: "Following analysis of the evidence received at consultation, £2 has been found to be the stake limit that would most substantially impact on harm by reducing the ability to suffer high session losses, while also targeting the greatest proportion of problem gamblers, and mitigating risk for the most vulnerable players for whom even moderate losses might be harmful".

Figures published by show that there are 57 FOBTs in 16 betting shops in Wrexham; with over £8m inserted into the machines locally in 2016.

Now punters can place bets of up to £100 every 20 seconds on electronic casino games, which critics say is a spur to problem gambling.

However Peter Jackson, chief executive at Paddy Power Betfair, said: "The wider gambling industry has suffered reputational damage as a result of the widespread unease over stake limits on gaming machines".

Then there are the B2 games in which you could place a £100 stake, but can still only win £500 (your chances of winning are increased by the vastly increased stake).

In March, the UK's Gambling Commission recommended new restrictions on fixed-odds betting terminals that were less stringent than feared, suggesting that the maximum stake should be cut from the current level of £100 to £30.

Commenting on the announcement, Susan Elan Jones MP said: "There are some gambling machines that are putting people into thousands of pounds worth of debt".

"There's a reason why Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are known as the "crack cocaine" of gambling - with stories of addicts losing up to £16,000 in a day".

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

It is a move praised by gambling addiction charities but bemoaned by bookmakers who say that there will be significant job losses and have already seen their share prices plummet.

"We now need radical action from the Welsh Government to step up education about the dangers of gambling and to address flaws in the planning system which result in communities being besieged by multiple betting shops in our town centres", he added.

The Government said it would also be toughening up protections around online gambling and launching a multi-million pound advertising campaign to promote responsible behaviour.

The campaign has secured the widespread support with the General Synod of the Church of England, 93 local authorities, the Royal Society for Public Health and politicians from all parties supporting the campaign.

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.

The reduction will also be linked to an increase in Remote Gaming Duty, a tax paid by online gaming operators, in a bid to protect the amount of income government gets from the industry.

The British government has not set an exact timetable for implementing the changes, Hancock, the minister responsible for the sector, said.