Bookies to be ‘named and shamed’ by powerful new watchdog

Posted on September 15, 2014 by admin

Britain’s four biggest bookmakers have pledged to set up an independent watchdog to police the gambling sector and “name and shame” companies which break promises on advertising, in an attempt to ward off a further heavy-handed clampdown on the sector.

The watchdog is part of a package of surprise self-policing measures to be announced by the heads of Gala Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill tomorrow, in response to increasing political and public pressure, particularly over controversial “crack cocaine” gaming machines.

Read the full article in The Telegraph online.

John Cleese hits back at critics over betting machine deal

Posted on September 8, 2014 by admin

It is the smash-hit musical that boasts of how it was “lovingly ripped off” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. So perhaps it is no surprise that Spamalot should undergo its own reincarnation, albeit one that has dismayed at least one of the Pythons themselves.

The rollout of Monty Python’s Spamalot fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in Ladbrokes betting shops gives punters the chance to win up to £500 at a time, and the opportunity, as the Knights of the Round Table sing in the musical, to “try your luck in Camelot; run amok in Camelot; it doesn’t suck in Camelot”.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.

Fixed odds betting terminals blamed for 8.2% rise in crime at bookies in past year

Posted on August 26, 2014 by admin

Shops have called out ­police 728 times more than in 2013 with the weekly average at 179 against 165 previously – issues include vandalising machines

Casino-style betting machines are blamed for an 8.2% rise in crime at bookies in the past year, reports the Sunday People.

Issues include punters vandalising machines and abusing staff.

Read the full article in The Daily Mirror online.

Why I turned whistleblower over £100-per-spin gambling machines

Posted on August 19, 2014 by admin

Ten years ago, when I was working as a senior executive in the betting industry, I met John.

John was married, employed at a Morrison’s superstore in Manchester and would spend his days off in the betting shop bantering with his mates over the football, betting on the horses, playing fruit machines and wagering his money on sport.

When I caught up with John in 2009, he no longer discussed the football or the horses, nor did he have much time for banter. He was an outcast from betting shops across Manchester, his wife had left him and he had moved into a one-bedroom flat on his own. He still had his job, though was heavily in debt, and aside from paying his rent most of his wages were spent funding an addiction.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.

The great pub gambling machine ‘rip-off’

Posted on August 18, 2014 by admin

Thousands of roulette, poker and blackjack gambling machines in Britain’s pubs are offering vastly lower returns than their real-life casino and betting shop equivalents, The Independent can reveal.

Digital gambling machines are an increasingly lucrative revenue stream for the struggling pub industry, but fairer-gambling campaigners have warned that tens of thousands of gamblers are being “misled” into wagering their cash at terrible odds in pubs.

Read the full article in The Independent online.

Fixed-odds betting

Posted on August 11, 2014 by admin

Will the new boss of William Hill tackle the company’s dependency on the most addictive kind of betting?

Sir, Apropos the comments by James Henderson, of William Hill (Aug 2), the betting industry’s problems stem from a single product: fixed-odds betting terminals. FOBTs offer casino games such as roulette at high speed — they can take bets of up to £100 every 20 seconds. They have led to increased crime, abuse by money launderers and a rise in gambling addiction. They account for over half the betting industry’s profits, and over 80 per cent of its turnover.

Read the full article in The Times online.

Are ‘crack cocaine’ betting machines set for service stations? Ministers under pressure from amusement industry to allow spread of £100-a-spin games

Posted on August 11, 2014 by admin

Betting machines dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ could spread to arcades and service stations as part of proposals from the amusement industry.

Ministers are under pressure to allow the machines – which are currently only allowed in betting shops – to be more widespread.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) are casino-style games which allow users to spend up to £100 a spin and are blamed for a worrying rise in problem gambling.

Read the full article in The Daily Mail online.

The ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling – fixed-odds betting terminals in Swansea that allow people to bet up to £300 a minute

Posted on August 8, 2014 by admin

GAMBLING addiction workers in Swansea say fixed-odds betting terminals (FoBTs) are leaving more and more people in serious debt.

They look like fruit machines and are present in betting shops and casinos, generating a growing chunk of income for betting companies, according to the Welsh Centre for Action and Dependency.

Staff at the Uplands centre said people could bet up to £300 per minute on FoBTs — labelled in some quarters the “crack cocaine” of gambling.

Read the full article in The South Wales Evening Post online.

Gambling with lives: Fury as amusement arcades demand fixed odds terminals

Posted on August 8, 2014 by admin

Highly-addictive gambling machines that allow bets of £100 every 20 seconds could spread to motorway services and amusement arcades.

That is the warning from outraged campaigners about fixed odds betting terminals.

Currently only allowed in betting shops, the machines are raking in cash at an alarming rate.

Read the full article in The Daily Mirror online.

William Hill raises stakes in tax battle

Posted on August 4, 2014 by admin

The new boss of William Hill has drawn battle lines with the government on his first day in the job by declaring that politicians could not possibly be any more hostile towards the betting industry.

The comments from James Henderson, who replaced long-serving Ralph Topping as chief executive yesterday, threaten to inflame further the industry’s fraught relations with the government, which is cracking down on problem gambling and raising betting taxes.

Asked whether the political environment was becoming more hostile towards gambling companies such as William Hill, he said: “I do not believe it can be any more hostile than it is.”

Read the full article in The Times online.