I have been contacted by several constituents recently who are concerned about fixed-odds betting terminals and gambling advertising.

I can assure you that the Government understands the public concerns around fixed-odds betting terminals and wants to see a responsible gambling industry which protects players. The Government has already put in place a number of measures around fixed-odds betting terminals. For example, in 2015 action was taken to introduce a new requirement that those accessing higher stakes (over £50) on these gaming machines must load cash via staff interaction or use account-based play.

However, Ministers recognise further action might be necessary to strike the right balance between enabling people to bet responsibly and ensuring consumers and communities are protected. In October, the Government launched a review into gaming machines and social responsibility, which is looking closely at fixed-odds betting terminals and specific concerns about the harm they cause, be that to the players themselves or to the local communities in which they are located. The call for evidence closed at the beginning of December and the Government will now review the evidence to assist in its decisions.  

Responsibility for the oversight of advertising is shared between the Advertising Standards Authority, Ofcom and the Gambling Commission. In 2014, some of the provisions around advertising in this area were strengthened. However, I am pleased that the current review is also looking at gambling advertising to understand whether the right measures are in place to ensure that the young and vulnerable are protected.  

I will keep this page updated once the outcome of the Government’s review is known.