Bold step to limit losses and damage
The scale of the riches being reaped by the nation’s bookmakers from fixed-odds betting terminals can simply be gauged by the ferocity of their lobbying campaign against reform.
Tens of thousands of jobs will be lost, they have thundered for weeks, while remaining strangely quiet about the fact many would be in the poorest neighbourhoods.
It is a powerful industry, used to getting its way, so the UK Government must be applauded for such a bold step as the new £2 maximum stake.
The door had been left open for a fudge but ministers instead took a stand.
Equally or more deserving of our plaudits are those whose relentless exposure of the damage being caused provided the impetus that secured it.
MSP Kevin Stewart was one, highlighting frightening figures like the £114 million lost by punters across the north and north-east in just the last eight years.
Others, like Wendy Bendal, channelled deep personal anguish into the push for change.
She experienced the full horror of literally losing her partner to the addictive machines when he took his own life after racking up spiralling debts.
It would be unwise indeed to see the legislation as any kind of a silver bullet or cure for addiction.
But if it limits their losses and encourages others to think twice then it has to be a positive step.
“Itisa powerful industry, so the UK Government must be applauded”