Warning over shift to other forms of gambling as stake capped on gaming machines

Gamblers may turn to other forms of betting after the implementation of a £2 limit on gaming machines, the Gambling Commission has warned.

The loss per spin on fixed odds betting terminals will be capped at £2 from Monday, rising from £100 at present.

Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, said players may take up online, mobile or high street gambling after the stake cut, and has written to bookmakers reminding them of their responsibilities to consumers.

He said: “Together with Government and the industry we must continue our ongoing work to make the whole industry safer – this includes continuing to make progress with making other products safer, as customers may move to gamble in other ways.

“It’s imperative that operators invest in and use data, technology and measures to identify harmful play and can step in to protect players when needed.

“They should be innovating to protect their customers, as much as they do to make a profit.”

The £2 cap aims to protect customers and was recommended by the commission in March last year.

The report also suggested tracking players’ activity, setting a lower potential loss per spin across other betting machines and limiting the time and money a punter can spend per session.

Jeremy Wright
Jeremy Wright (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Reducing the potential loss per spin from £100 to £2 is a significant step forward in protecting vulnerable people.

“The Government’s actions and ambitions stretch much further and we are looking at further treatment of those who have suffered from gambling-related harm, whether gambling on credit should be limited and considering what actions are necessary to tackle problem gambling online.”

Stricter identity and age check rules for online gambling will also come into effect from May.

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