LONDON Dec 8 Britain should drastically reduce
the limit on the amount of money gamblers can stake on
fixed-odds-betting terminals to tackle problems in the industry,
a committee of lawmakers said on Thursday.
The stake should be reduced from 100 pounds ($127) to 2
pounds, they said, and the government should also consider
reducing the speed of spin on the machines to reduce the amount
wagered in a session.
A fixed odds betting terminal is a touch screen machine
found in betting shops that allows players to bet on the outcome
of various games such as roulette with fixed odds.
Charities have warned that the machines are highly addictive
and can enable gamblers to lose hundreds of pounds in less than
Shares in bookmaker William Hill and Ladbrokes Coral
were trading down 8.3 percent and 7.8 percent,
respectively, after the lawmakers published their interim
findings. A final report will be published in January.
($1 = 0.7885 pounds)
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)