GAMBLING addiciton is a real problem which blights communities and households across the country. 

That's the view of Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP Gavin Newlands, who has called on more to be done to tackle the 'life destroying' industry. 

In the UK alone, reports have indicated as many as 2 million people could be addicted to gambling. 

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Just last week, Sports Minister Tracey Crouch resigned over "delays" to a crackdown on maximum stakes for fixed-odds betting terminals.

Mr Newlands calls come during Responsible Gambling Week, the biggest cross-industry campaign of its kind. 

Mr Newlands told The Gazette: “Gambling addiction is a real problem which blights communities and households across the country.

"The Scottish Government has already used the planning system, via the Scottish Planning Policy, to begin to tackle Pay Day Lenders and Betting Shops.

"Fixed odds betting terminals ruin lives and allow vulnerable addicts to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds.

"Startling sums of money are lost as a result of these machines, and it is for this reason it is necessary reduce the maximum bet to £2 as soon as possible and save families becoming victims of life destroying debts."

Responsible Gambling Week involves every major operator in the UK and Ireland, with more than 127,000 staff taking part at over 11,000 gambling venues and online sites and is backed by gambling charities.

Tips about keeping gambling safe are being shared with customers and those who need specialist help are being referred to the charity GambleAware.

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The campaign has also been supported by the 72 clubs in the English Football Club, Premier League clubs and leading racecourses. 

Among the initiatives taking place during the week are responsible gambling training sessions, run by the charity GamCare, for parents and professionals working with children or young adults.

Responsible Gambling Week runs until today (Wednesday).