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Ladbrokes pay link to responsible gambling

BOOKMAKER Ladbrokes is to link the pay of top executives to its success in ensuring the responsible use of gaming machines.

The move comes amid growing calls for the use of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), dubbed the "crack cocaine of gambling", to be banned or limited.

Glasgow is where most is wagered on the machines and a total of £1400 in bets per capita was played on FOBTs in the city in 2011-12. The total spent is more than £800 million a year.

In a letter to gambling minister Helen Grant, Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glynn said responsible gambling performance measures would be written into senior executives' remuneration. The letter also included a pledge to promote the industry's Code for Responsible Gambling in hundreds of shop windows.

In a separate letter, the bosses of Britain's five biggest chains also outlined a series of measures to ensure punters who use the machines do so responsibly. They include enforced breaks with automatic alerts on money and time spent.

The industry letter added: "Problem gambling levels in the UK are low by international standards amounting to around half a per cent of the population, and have not increased since the introduction of gaming machines.

"But we are not complacent as all gambling products have the capacity to cause harm to a small number of individuals."

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