A delay to government plans to relax gambling laws offers breathing space to pubs, which already face increased competition from betting shops and casinos.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) welcomed the news that gambling reform legislation will be delayed by at least a year because of pressure on the parliamentary timetable.
BBPA spokesman Mark Hastings said: "We've had fundamental concerns on the course this legislation was taking for some time, because it offers the trade the stick of increased regulation without the carrot of greater freedom to compete."
Under the proposals, pubs would be automatically allowed two amusement-with-prizes (AWP) machines with a maximum £25 payout. The trade won a key concession last year when the government agreed that pubs should be allowed to apply to have more than two machines.
However, casinos would be able to offer unlimited cash payouts with a £500 maximum in bingo clubs and betting shops.
The proposals to deregulate gambling also include measures to make it easier for operators to get a casino licence, ease restrictions on opening hours, allow alcohol to be served on casino gaming floors, and let betting shops serve food and drink.
Mr Hastings said gaming machines are an important part of many pubs' business, and the delay gives the trade time to make a case for less restrictions.