Maximum stakes on fixed-odds gambling machines to be cut to £2

The amount people can stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) will be slashed to £2 to reduce the risk of "gambling-related harm", the Government has announced.

It said the move will cut the risk of potentially large financial losses from the controversial machines as well as harm to both players and wider communities.

The decision goes further than the recommendations of a review carried out by the gambling regulator earlier this year, which recommended the maximum stake for FOBTs should be set at or below £30.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said: "When faced with the choice of halfway measures or doing everything we can to protect vulnerable people, we have chosen to take a stand.

"These machines are a social blight and prey on some of the most vulnerable in society, and we are determined to put a stop to it and build a fairer society for all."

The decision is set to please campaigners but will come as a blow to bookmakers, which have warned it would cost betting shop jobs across the country.

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