THE UK Government has pledged to do whatever it takes to protect gamblers from so-called "crack cocaine" betting machines, which can cost players £300 a minute but have raked in more than £1.4 billion in annual profits for the betting industry.

Glasgow has become the capital of the high stakes machines called fixed-odds betting terminals(FOBTs).

Yesterday, Ed Miliband warned that the 33,000 machines were causing major problems for families and individuals up and down Britain. But a demand for councils to be given stronger controls failed to win the support of Coalition rebels as the UK Government won a Commons vote by 314 to 232, a majority of 82. It says it will act if a review shows tighter regulation is needed.

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The Labour leader pointed out that one in three calls to the gambling helpline was now about FOBTs, which were clustered in deprived areas