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Bookies' new measures to tackle problem gambling

Four leading bookmakers have announced new voluntary measures in a bid to help "protect the vulnerable" from problem gambling.

Paddy Power are among the four bookmakers who have pledged to impose new measures. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive

William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power have all agreed to introduce a television advertising ban on sign-up offers before 9pm and set-up a new body, called the Senet Group, to "self-govern" the industry.

From 1 October, the industry will also start an advertising campaign on responsible gambling and withdraw gaming machines from shop windows.

As leading gambling companies, we have a responsibility to the communities where we operate - offering fun and entertainment for the majority while protecting the vulnerable, especially young people.

Recently concerns about gambling have grown - particularly because of the tone of some of the advertising of betting on TV at times when children may be watching.

We are therefore announcing some important changes.

– Letter from four bookmakers

Thousands 'can be bet hourly' on high stakes slots

Tighter rules on betting machines are expected to be announced today as part of a government review of gambling policy, with measures set to allow councils to refuse a planning application if they are worried about the number of shops.

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

Slot machines in Casino Hotel Credit: Slavko Midzor/PIXSELL

Some 63% said that fruit machines encourage problem gambling and 56% want the maximum stake limit cut from £100 to £20, it added.

People can bet £300 a minute, £18,000 a hour, on the high speed machines and they are mainly clustered in the most deprived parts of the country.

The Association of British Bookmakers said in a DCMS review last year, slot machines "add to the vitality and vibrancy of the high street" and drive footfall to other businesses.

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