HILARY Douglas of the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) claims (Letters, March 24) that the £160m cited in your report ("Scots problem gamblers losing tens of millions on controversial fixed odds machines", The Herald, March 290)relates to the turnover on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in Scotland and not the total losses.

This is incorrect; £160m is in fact an estimate of the total losses, which has been derived from Gambling Commission data, operator annual reports and research carried out by the Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT). We note that Hilary Douglas does not provide an alternative figure.

Estimates derived from the Health Survey have been used by the Gambling Commission to derive the number of FOBT gamblers. The Campaign for Fairer Gambling's estimates are based on this figure. Ms Douglas then uses the Health Survey to claim that problem gambling rates are low, at 0.4 per cent.

But whole population prevalence rates tell us very little about FOBTs, unlike research carried out by the RGT which found that 37 per cent of FOBT users gambled on them problematically, a much higher proportion than the 0.4 per cent that applies to the whole population.

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has been completely transparent with its methodology, and we would welcome the same from the ABB with regard to how its supposed "harm minimisation" measures will help reduce gambling related harm.

Ms Douglas states that FOBTs "are not the single cause of problem gambling" but secondary studies on previous British Gambling Prevalence Surveys have shown them to be the most addictive form of gambling, and the activity on which the most is lost by problem and at-risk gamblers - more than several other leading gambling activities combined.

If the ABB wishes to minimise gambling related harm, we suggest that it convinces its members to reduce the maximum stake to £2 per spin to reduce the harm that this highly addictive product causes.

Derek Webb, Adrian Parkinson, Matt Zarb-Cousin,

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling,

88-90 North Sherwood Street,