Welsh Conservatives have today welcomed the decision by the UK Government to restrict the amount of money people can gamble on fixed-odds betting (FOBTs).
The machines have been dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ because of their addictive nature and the Conservative Government has now changed the maximum stake from £100 every 20 seconds to £2.
FOBTs campaigner and Clwyd West AM, Darren Millar – who holds an annual conference on problem gambling in Cardiff – described the decision as ‘excellent news’ and comes after intensive campaigning by AMs and MPs.
Mr Millar has also called on the Welsh Labour Government to take radical action in educating people in Wales about the ‘dangers of gambling’.
“This is excellent news and a welcome decision from the UK Conservative Government.
“Fixed odds betting terminals are a public health menace which ruin people’s lives.
“Excessive gambling is trapping people into an addictive cycle and people can end up losing their homes, relationships, and their place and purpose in society.
“This radical action will now help to address the serious harm they cause.”
“We now need radical action from the Welsh Government to step up education about the dangers of gambling and to address flaws in the planning system which result in communities being besieged by multiple betting shops in our town centres.”