LONDON, April 30 The British government
announced measures on Wednesday to tighten controls on betting
shops and the high stakes gambling machines that are one of
their main attractions.
The machines account for around 1.5 billion pounds of annual
revenues for British bookmakers including William Hill,
Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.
Local councils will be able to refuse applications by
bookmakers to open new shops on the high street in a change to
planning laws, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said.
Customers who want to spend more than 50 pounds ($84) on
high stakes machines will be required to pay over the counter in
shops before they play, rather than being able to feed the money
The betting industry has been fighting a rearguard action
against critics who claim the machines, offering games like
roulette, fuel problem gambling. There have also been criticisms
that too many betting shops are clustered in close proximity to
each other on high streets.
($1 = 0.5936 British Pounds)
(Writing by Keith Weir; Editing by John Stonestreet)