Fixed-odds betting stakes 'to be 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

Another major United Kingdom high street brand, Paddy Power Betfair, added: "We've consistently called for a significant stake cut which would take this issue off the table, so we're pleased that the Secretary of State and Government has acted so decisively".

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

The maximum stake on "crack cocaine" gambling machines will be slashed from £100 to £2.

Betting firm William Hill, makes just over half its retail revenues from fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

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".

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The U.K. drastically reduced the size of bets allowed on roulette and poker machines, crimping a profitable business for the gambling industry that's been blamed for addiction and contributing to economic hardship.

"This isn't about taking away people's fun and enjoyment, but it is about listening to the evidence that FOBTs are a corrosive and highly negative form of gambling".

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.

William Hill chariman, Roger Devlin, called the decision to cut the maximum bet to £2 as "catastrophic".

"It is a pity they took quite this long to come to a decision, but each and every move is welcome if it means we do something to tackle the issue of problem gambling which causes difficulties and hardships for so many families".

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The ABB said a report which paved the way for the new £2 rules was "deeply flawed" and had been funded by commercial rivals of Britain's bookmakers.

As part of the wider review, the government has also announced a series of other measures it said will help to protect punters, with the Gambling Commission charged with bolster protections around iigaming, including stronger age verification rules and proposals to require operators to set limits on consumers spending until affordability checks have been conducted.

The decision is a victory for campaigners against the excesses of the gambling industry, including a number of Christian groups.

"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".

The government, which said the change would need parliamentary approval, pledged to engage with the gambling industry to ensure it was given sufficient time to implement and complete the technological changes.

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It added that the reduction would 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 it gets from the industry.

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