Betting machines should have £30 stake limit, says Gambling Commission

People are currently allowed to bet £100 every 20 seconds at fixed-odd betting terminals Credit: AP

The maximum stake allowed on fixed-odd betting terminals should be cut to £30 or less, the Gambling Commission has recommended.

Dubbed the 'crack cocaine' of gambling machines, people are currently allowed to bet £100 every 20 seconds at the terminals, potentially allowing a player to spend £18,000 an hour.

The Gambling Commission said the stake limit for non-slot games, including roulette, should be set at £30 or less.

It suggested the limit for fixed-odd betting slots stakes to be set at £2.

The raft of recommendations to the Government aim to help minimise the risk to vulnerable people.

"We've put consumers at the heart of our advice - advice which is based on the best available evidence and is focused on reducing the risk of gambling-related harm," said Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur.

"In our judgment, a stake cut for fixed-odds betting terminals alone doesn't go far enough to protect vulnerable people.

"That is why we have recommended a stake cut plus a comprehensive package of other measures to protect consumers.

"We have proposed actions that will tackle both the risk of harm and provide solutions that are sustainable in the longer term."

A former British Army officer who lost almost £1 million through gambling told ITV News last year the Government has "a lot more to do" to protect players.