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  1. ITV Report

Government to crack down on 'high stake gambling'

General view of fruit machines on Brighton Pier. Photo: Katie Collins/PA

Local authorities have been given greater powers to decide whether to allow new high street betting shops to open under a review of gambling measures.

The Minister for Sport, Tourism and Equalities Helen Grant MP has proposed new planning laws to come into effect by October 2014, as well as better monitoring of high stake gamblers who spend over £50 regularly.

The statement said where it is proposed to convert a bank, building society or estate agents into a betting shop, it would require a planning application. Restaurants and pubs who plan to change will also need to seek planning permission first.

Ministers are expected to bring in tighter rules on betting machines. Credit: Daniel Hambury/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Laws will also require customers accessing stakes over £50 to "use account-based play or to load cash over the counter," to minimize losses and improve intervention between the customer and the business.

A poll by the Sunday People earlier this month found that thousands can be spent hourly on the machines.

The statement continued by saying: "This measure will put an end to unsupervised cash staking above £50, which can rapidly result in significant losses."

The Government is expected to give councils new powers to stop betting shops opening in their area. Credit: Phil Cole/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Gambling Commission will also work with the government to require that gaming machines in betting shops present players with a "choice to set limits",

The changes are expected to be implemented from October 2014.

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