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Bookmakers are bracing for a Government crackdown on the industry, including high stakes fixed-odds gambling machines and its advertising tactics.

The Government’s gambling minister Tracey Crouch fired the starting gun yesterday on a  sweeping review of all types of gaming machines and the harm they may cause to players and the communities in which they live.

In a call for evidence Ms Crouch said it is important that regulation strike the right balance between allowing the industry to contribute to the economy and enable people to bet responsibly.

The Government’s call for evidence will close on 4 December, before it begins to  consider new regulation for the industry.  The gambling industry has come under renewed scrutiny since July’s Cabinet reshuffle under Theresa May.

Newly appointed Culture Secretary Karen Bradley voiced alarm about the frequency of betting adverts on television in an appearance today before the Commons’ select committee  for culture.

“I know my children can recite just about every gambling advert that there is,” she told the  MPs. “I am interested as a parent and I’m also interested as a secretary of state in understanding what the impacts are on young people of that advertising.”

The industry faced a similar inquiry in 2013, but the Association of British Bookmakers said it had introduced a range of new responsible gaming measures since then and welcomed a new evidence-based review of the industry.  The new measures included  “giving gaming machine players the ability to set a limit on the amount of money they spend or time they play for, no advertising of gaming machines, the first cross operator national self-exclusion scheme and the new £50 stake limits,” a spokesman for the industry group said.

The  Government  investigation follows news last week that the Competition and Market Authoriy will launch an inquiry into online bookmakers, after claims  that betting firms are using regulatory loopholes to avoid paying out to winning customers.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/10/24/gambling-industry-braces-for-government-crackdown/

 


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