2014

BHA hooked on losing run over gambling machines in betting shops

Posted on January 6, 2014 by admin

Racing has much to look forward to in 2014, with prize money widely expected to set a record, though whether that will be enough to satisfy the more pig-headed members of the Racehorse Owners’ Association remains to be seen.

But there is always room for improvement and, since this is the right time to express one’s hopes for the year ahead, here is an earnest wish for 2014. Please could this be the year when the British Horseracing Authority comes to its senses and aligns itself with the right side of the debate over casino machines in betting shops?

The machines which the big chains insist on calling Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – though FOBTs have nothing at all to do with traditional betting – have been a recurring theme in this column for several years. The last Labour government took the idiotic and calamitous decision to allow roulette and other fixed-margin casino games into what had previously been “betting” shops back in 2005, and the poisonous consequences have been spreading through the system since.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.

Gambling’s crack cocaine: They’re the disturbing new face of gambling – betting machines that enslave the poor and earn bookies BILLIONS

Posted on January 6, 2014 by admin

As I walk into the first betting shop, a few men glance up from their screens — and give me an unmistakably hostile look. The same thing happens at the second.

It’s early morning, but the atmosphere is threatening. Nor is this just my imagination: in both shops, the manager is protected at his counter by a shield of toughened glass.

Having backed out of the first two shops, I steel myself to enter a third — William Hill in Paddington, West London — and approach a man who is playing virtual roulette on a machine by the wall. This is one of the fixed-odds betting terminals, known as Fobts, which are often described as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’. I watch as the man feeds 20p coins into the machine — at a rate of one every 20 seconds.

Read the full article in The Daily Mail online.

Gambler blew £60,000 on roulette machines AFTER banning himself from the “crack cocaine of gambling”

Posted on January 6, 2014 by admin

As I walk into the first betting shop, a few men glance up from their screens — and give me an unmistakably hostile look. The same thing happens at the second.

It’s early morning, but the atmosphere is threatening. Nor is this just my imagination: in both shops, the manager is protected at his counter by a shield of toughened glass.

Having backed out of the first two shops, I steel myself to enter a third — William Hill in Paddington, West London — and approach a man who is playing virtual roulette on a machine by the wall. This is one of the fixed-odds betting terminals, known as Fobts, which are often described as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’. I watch as the man feeds 20p coins into the machine — at a rate of one every 20 seconds.

Read the full article in The Daily Mail online.

 

‘Gambling problem growing’ say Church of Scotland

Posted on January 2, 2014 by admin

TELEVISION advertising and electronic gadgets are encouraging gambling and adding to Scotland’s debt problems, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland warns today.

In her New Year message, the Rt Rev Lorna Hood voices her concerns about an internet betting boom.

“Adverts during sports and other TV programmes encourage us to place bets using tablets and smartphones within arm’s reach,” she said.

Read the full article in The Scotsman online.

Hamilton MP Tom Greatrex Christmas column: Gambling

Posted on January 2, 2014 by admin

Earlier this year, I spent some time with Hamilton Gamblers Anonymous and what struck me was the extent to which of those who had admitted their problem with a gambling addiction, more and more were as a result of fixed odds betting terminals, which are in the High Street bookmakers throughout Scotland.

Read the full article in The Daily Record online.

No quick fix for nation’s gambling addiction

Posted on January 2, 2014 by admin

We’ve all said it.

When I win the lottery … Of course, most of us know that winning the lottery is about as likely as being hit by lightning. But that doesn’t stop us fantasising about it, especially at this time of year when budgets have been squeezed tight by Christmas. The government makes a lot of amount of money from this “tax on the stupid” as it has been called. Britain’s success at the Olympic Games was largely built on lottery cash.

The downside is that, since the National Lottery was first established in 1994, gambling has become part of the fabric of everyday life. And more and more of us are becoming addicted to it. The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lorna Hood, has warned in her New Year message that this is because gambling is now “cool and normalised” – the stigma has gone. Along with pay-day loans, betting is making a significant contribution to the debt crisis faced by thousands of Scottish families.

Read the full article in The Herald online.