Fixed odds betting stakes could be lowered from £100 to £2


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.

But today's announcement has been met with concern by some bookmakers, who fear the move will result in store closures and job losses.

In order to cover any negative impact on the public finances, and to protect funding for vital public services, this change will be linked to an increase in Remote Gaming Duty, paid by online gaming operators, at the relevant Budget.

'When faced with the choice of halfway measures or doing everything we can to protect vulnerable people, we have chosen to take a stand, ' he said.

"No longer will gamblers be able to run into serious trouble on the High Street and betting has been restored to a leisure activity".

But the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) said: "This is a decision that will have far-reaching implications for betting shops on the high street".

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

In March, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) published recommendations to support the government with its review of FOBTs, including limiting stakes on slot games to £2 and non-slot games to £30.

William Hill said the new regulation could lead to a 35 to 45 per cent reduction in annual total gaming net revenue.

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".

"Although we are ultimately disappointed with the outcome of the Triennial Review, it is a decision we accept", said GVC Holdings CEO Kenneth Alexander.

Ms Crouch added: "Even cutting to £10 would leave problem gamblers, and those most vulnerable, exposed to losses that would cause them and their families significant harm".

Measures announced by the government also included tougher rules for internet gambling, including proposals on age verification limits on consumers' spending.

Changes to the stake will be through secondary legislation and remain subject to parliamentary approval, while the government said it will also engage with the gambling industry to ensure operators are given enough time to implement and complete the technological changes.

But what exactly are FOBTs and why has the government seen fit to step in and make the huge change?

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.