Government crackdown on 'high stake gambling'

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.

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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.

New powers expected to curb spread of betting shops

The overhaul of rules on gambling may include a change to planning regulations to let councils stop new betting shops open.

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

Under current rules bookmakers do not always need planning permission to open a new outlet.

Gambling overhaul 'to target betting machines'

Tighter rules on betting machines are expected to be announced today as part of a government review of gambling policy.

Companies may be forced to give customers using machines more time to consider how much they are gambling on fixed-odds machines that allow stakes of hundreds of pounds in quick succession.

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

Councils may also be given more powers to stop betting shops opening if they are concerned about the spread of gambling venues in their area.

The measures are expected to be part of a series of proposals from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to tackle what some say are "ineffective" rules on gambling.

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