I've long campaigned against the proliferation of fixed odds betting machines as they are a blight on our high streets and can be part of a spiral of addiction.
Evidence shows the average bet is £19 and the spin lasts as little as 20 seconds. That the poorest people use these machines the most often. They are also highly addictive. People can lose an awful lot of money that can ill afford to lose in a very short time on one of these machines.
Whilst any effort to regulate their use is welcome, I feel much more can be done to help local authorities in reducing the numbers that proliferate by reducing council restrictions on annual licence fees and licencing and planning criteria. The government must also reduce the maximum stake to a very small amount.
These proposals will only be beneficial if there is a commitment from government to make these changes and enforce the code ensuring that book makers are adhering to the regulations.