As the Local Government Association (LGA) Licensing Champion I met Tracey Crouch MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Civil Society and Loneliness to urge her to support our recommendation that fixed odd betting terminal stakes were reduced from £100 to £2.
We had been campaigning for a number of years to reduce the maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals to reduce problem gambling and its devastating impacts on individuals and communities.
The government eventually agreed to support our recommendation, which has no doubt helped prevent vulnerable players from losing £100 in seconds in a single play, which many people cannot afford to lose.
The harm and anti-social behaviour these machines can cause had become an issue of growing national concern, and research had shown that problem gambling, often linked to FOBTs, created a huge costs for the NHS, councils and the criminal justice systems possible.
Gambling related harm is an area I am particularly interested in and its associated links to drug taking, alcohol misuse, suicide, domestic violence, child neglect and fraud.