PHILIP Davies has hailed a meeting over the future of gambling in the UK held yesterday as “constructive and positive”.

The debate, held in the Houses of Parliament, featured speakers from the betting industry as well as members of the public.

The aim of the meeting was to discuss the issue of bookmakers offering restricted odds or closing the accounts of successful gamblers, and how this can be changed going forward.

The system is used across the online betting industry to avoid taking bets from successful punters, or more generally people who appear to put thought and effort into their betting.

Firms put restrictions on individual accounts, such as only allowing a 50p bet when a customer has asked to put on £50.

The move is said to be used to try and encourage successful gamblers to stop using a particular site and move to a different one, as bookmakers prefer more recreational punters who are more likely to be drawn in by offers or promotions.

Mr Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, said there was a consensus these restrictions had gone “far too far”.

He said: “We want to see fewer accounts restricted, and not as heavily restricted as they are.

“There has to be some restriction on betting, everyone accepted that, but there is a feeling that bookmakers are becoming too risk-averse in what is a fairly risky industry.”

Speakers at the meeting included Richard Flint, the chief executive of Sky Bet, Bruce Millington, the editor of the Racing Post, and Simon Rowlands, chair of the Horseracing Bettor’s Forum.

“It was a really constructive and positive meeting,” Mr Davies continued.

“I think all the sides spoke very well and we have a basis to move forward to find a consensus where everyone is happy, something that works for the Bettor’s Forum and for the and for the industry.”

One suggestion that was put forward was for a ‘minimum bet rule’, similar to a system that is currently in use in Australia.

The rule in Australia means that betting companies must be willing to accept at least one bet from a punter on a race that would result in winnings of more than AU$2,000 for larger operators, AU$1,000 for smaller operators.

Mr Davies said he would support the rule being brought in in the UK, and the only issue was what that figure would be.

He added: “There was widespread support for the minimum bet rule at the meeting, and hopefully from this we can reach an agreement on a figure everyone would be happy with.”