The maximum size of bets allowed on poker and roulette machines has been drastically reduced putting a dent in a profitable business for the gambling industry which has been blamed for addiction and contributing to economic hardship.

 

The amount before was £100 and now the maximum bet for fixed-odds betting will be £2 the government said in a statement Thursday. Stricter rules enforced by the UKGC will affect online gaming by bringing in a stronger age verification and encouraging operators to introduce limits on spending.

 

Until now the machines have helped high street bookies keep revenue up since the introduction and growth of online gambling. It is expected that thousands of shops will close resulting in the loss of around 21,000 jobs.

 

Another area which will take a hit is the U.K. Treasury where it could lose around 1.1 billion pounds over the next 3 years. Lawmaker Philip Davies, who chairs Parliament’s cross-party group on gambling lobbied against the £2 limit.