The losses accumulated by British gamblers hit a record high of £13.8bn in the year to the end of September, ahead of a planned crackdown on some of the industry's most controversial aspects.

Figures released on Thursday (25 May), by the Gambling Commission also showed losses on the controversial fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) reached an all-time high of £1.8bn, compared with £1.7bn for the year to the end of September 2016.

FOBTs, which allow punters to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds, are the focal point of a government review that is expected to be published after June's General Election.

Upon publishing a preliminary report in December last year, the all-party parliamentary group on FOBTs called for the maximum stake for gambling on the electronic terminals in a bookmakers shop to be slashed from the current £100 to just £2.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have thrown their weight behind the proposal, pledging to implement the change if they win the election next month.

The all-party parliamentary group on FOBTs, which published a preliminary report on the subject last month, has called for the maximum stake for gambling on the electronic terminals in a bookmakers shop to be slashed from the current £100 to just £2.

In January, however, the bookmaking industry dismissed the report and urged the government to set up an inquiry to investigate the commission which carried it out.

"The report is the view of a tiny group of anti-betting shop MPs," said Malcolm George, chief executive of the Association of British Bookmakers, said at the time.

"This group has been financed by those with interests in the casino, arcade and pub industries. This group of MPs has operated in secrecy, provided no transcripts of the evidence given to their meetings and operated throughout behind closed doors away from public scrutiny."

George added that over 1,000 of betting shops were being closed each year and, if implemented, the MPs' proposal could spell the beginning of the end for the industry.

Meanwhile, the Gambling Commission added losses on online betting also grew, climbing from £4.2bn to nearly £4.5bn, while the National Lottery declined slightly, falling from £3.4bn to £3.2bn.