BOOKMAKERS are an easy target for politicians seeking a quick win. On March 2nd Maria Miller, the culture secretary, promised tougher regulation of high-stakes gaming machines, which allow betting-shop punters to wager up to £300 ($500) per minute. Her proposed rules, which include forcing customers to set a cap on the amount they will spend each time they start a gaming session, did not much impress many Labour bigwigs, who would prefer to see big-money machines banned. But, racing to dominate an increasingly heated debate, the three main parties have long left the facts behind.
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