Fixed-odds maximum bet ‘could drop to £2’

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The maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals could drop to as little as £2 under a government review.

Currently, people can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on the gaming machines but proposals could limit that to between £2 and £50.

The 12-week government consultation aims to reduce the risk of people suffering large losses and to tighten up advertising rules.

Changes would hit UK gambling company revenue, put at £1.8bn last year.

Publishing the review, gambling minister Tracey Crouch said the current laws on gaming machines were “inappropriate” for protecting people and communities.

“We are therefore consulting on regulatory changes to the maximum stake, looking at options between £50 and £2, in order to reduce the potential for large session losses and therefore to the potentially harmful impact on the player and their wider communities.

“We have seen online gambling grow rapidly and we need to protect players in this space, while also making sure those experiencing harm relating to gambling receive the help they need.”

The consultation will also look at how to protect vulnerable people and children, by tightening protections around gambling online and gambling advertising.

As part of the review:

  • The Gambling Commission – the industry’s regulator – will consult on changes to protect online players.
  • Broadcasters, advertisers, industry and support groups will draw up an advertising campaign to promote responsible gambling, with an annual budget of up to £7m.
  • New advertising guidelines will be drawn up, to protect problem gamblers, children and young people.
  • Access by under-18s to gambling content and channels on social media will be restricted.
  • Gambling companies are being told to step up funding for research, education and treatment. If they don’t, operators may face a levy.

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