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Culture Secretary backs safeguards to curb gambling

New safeguards are to be introduced in an attempt to curb addiction to high-stakes gambling machines in betting shops, according to The Sunday Times (£).

Bookies will no longer be able to advertise the machines in their windows and alerts will flash up if gamblers play for more than half an hour or deposit more than £250.

A branch of William Hill betting shop in central London. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire.

The changes are being supported by Maria Miller, the culture secretary, to curb the huge amount of money being lost on the machines.

Writing in the newspaper, Ms Miller said: "We want a successful gambling industry but not at the price of public protection. Player protections must be made mandatory so that every bookmaker must abide by the new rules.

"I have asked the Gambling Commission to make this happen. In the future, these rules will therefore form part of the operators' licence conditions and bookmakers will have to accept them or not be able to trade."

Ladbrokes announces profits slump 66%

Ladbrokes has announced its pre-tax profits fell 66% in 2013 to £67.6 million, as it continues to overhaul its digital businesses.

As well as the slump, the company warned it will close between 40 and 50 shops this year.

Ladbrokes also announced executive pay would be linked to a responsible gambling agenda. Credit: PA

The UK's second largest bookmaker blamed the hit on upgrades to its online gambling systems.

Developing gaming products used by smartphone or tablet users has taken longer than expected, the bookies said.


Brit arrested wearing gambling device at Aussie Open

Daniel Dobson, 22, walks away from court in Melbourne, Australia. Credit: Reuters

A British man has appeared in court in Melbourne accused of illegal courtside gambling activity at the Australian Open tennis tournament.

Daniel Dobson, 22, was arrested on court two at Melbourne Park and discovered to have a device in his shorts which would enable him to transmit the results of points before they were officially distributed around the world, the court heard.

The system, designed to be quicker than the delay on television broadcasts, would be advantageous in in-play betting markets.

Dobson's lawyer said he was simply collecting data for the betting agency.

The Briton has been charged with engaging in conduct that would corrupt a betting outcome.

Prosecutors told the court that police were investigating two other British men in relation to the same offence.