The campaigners who succeeded in getting the betting terminals slashed to £2 last year now want the same limit for TV and online gambling.

Chief executives of the UK’s biggest gambling firms hauled before a House of Lords inquiry into the industry and asked what they are doing to ensure customers do not spend more than they can afford. They will also be quizzed about the use of non-disclosure agreements to stop punters speaking out.

“If it’s not right to have it happening on the high street then it’s even more absurd to allow people to gamble any amount they like on fixed-odds games online from the bus or in their bedroom,” Durham Conservative MP Richard Holden said.

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan sees the Gambling Act review as “too good an opportunity to miss.”

“I have long felt late-night TV gambling was dangerous… Most problem gamblers will be looking for opportunities to gamble in the wee small hours and the TV is offering them that,” Carolyn Harris, who chairs the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group, said.

The Labour Swansea East MP also wants children stopped from buying “loot boxes” in computer games.

She believes the boxes, in which cash is paid for rewards that cannot be seen in advance, should be categorised as gambling. A 2018 Gambling Commission report said 31% of youngsters had paid money to open loot boxes or buy in-game items.

Culture minister Helen Whately said NHS England is “scaling up treatment provision for problem gambling” and up to 14 specialist clinics would open in the next five years, including two already open.


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