Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, has expressed his delight at the news that the government is going to reduce the stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2.
The machines, which were previously capped at £100, are considered to be one of the key causes of severe gambling addiction across the UK. Campaigners from across the political spectrum have spoken out on this issue for a number of years and these efforts have now led to a change which will benefit communities across the UK.
Commenting on the intervention, Mr Elmore said: “Gambling addiction is hugely damaging to communities across Wales and, indeed, across the UK. It’s only right that we curb the amount of money people are allowed to spend on these machines to prevent excessive losses. These machines are not built to pay out – they simply destroy lives.”
Share prices of several gambling companies fell sharply last week when the news was announced. The government has insisted however that companies will be supported in making the changes required to protect vulnerable people at risk from gambling addiction across the UK.
Mr Elmore continued: “I’d like to pay tribute to all of the campaigners who have kept the pressure on the government in relation to this issue. In particular, UK Labour’s Deputy Leader, Tom Watson MP, and Welsh Labour’s Deputy Leader, Carolyn Harris MP, have done some outstanding work to see this through.”