Blow for bookmakers: Osborne hikes levy on FOBTs from 20% to 25%

Posted on March 20, 2014 by admin

Betting machines dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling will be taxed more heavily – but campaigners and the industry say the duty rise will not help problem gambling.

In a blow for bookmakers, whose shares fell yesterday, George Osborne said Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) were ‘highly lucrative’ and he was hiking the levy on them from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.

Read the full article in the Mail online

UK Banking System Gambles With Brits’ Livelihood

Posted on March 19, 2014 by admin

Coinciding with an unforgettable week of racing at Cheltenham, Britain’s gambling industry has had some rather less sunny headlines. Recent figures from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling revealed that, across the 55 most deprived boroughs in the country, more than £1.3bn was gambled on fixed-odds betting terminals last year, £470m of which was lost. It is up to consumers whether they gamble or not, but many who cannot afford it are being encouraged to throw away their money on the outcome of a random chance. Sadly, this is the escalator down to the nightmare cycle of debt, high APRs and roll-over deals.

Read the full article in The Huffington Post online.

Say NO to a new betting shop in Chinatown

Posted on March 17, 2014 by admin

Labour councillors launch campaign against city centre’s 30th bookies.

Labour councillors, local residents and businesses are uniting to oppose the opening of a new betting shop in Chinatown.

The licence if granted will make this the 30th betting shop in Manchester city centre alone and the fourth in the Chinatown area.

Local councillors and MP Lucy Powell are involved in a long standing campaign against the spread of highly addictive and unregulated Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) which are to blame for the rapid increase in the numbers of betting shops on our streets.

Read the full article in City Centre Voice online.

MP Tom Greatrex blasts high-stake gaming machines as Lanarkshire gamblers lose £25m

Posted on March 10, 2014 by admin

Gamblers in Lanarkshire lost nearly £25m in 2013 on high-stake casino gaming machines – an average of £1135 each.

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling issued the figures on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) at the House of Commons this week.

It comes just weeks after we reported that Hamilton MP Tom Greatrex had went to war against the gambling terminals.

The Labour man revealed he had taken an interest in the issue after a constituent came to him after losing £25,000 in a month on a machine in a bookmakers.

Read the full article in The Daily Record online.

A risky business

Posted on March 7, 2014 by admin

BOOKMAKERS are an easy target for politicians seeking a quick win. On March 2nd Maria Miller, the culture secretary, promised tougher regulation of high-stakes gaming machines, which allow betting-shop punters to wager up to £300 ($500) per minute. Her proposed rules, which include forcing customers to set a cap on the amount they will spend each time they start a gaming session, did not much impress many Labour bigwigs, who would prefer to see big-money machines banned. But, racing to dominate an increasingly heated debate, the three main parties have long left the facts behind.

Read the full article in The Economist online.

Bookies caught cold as Government tackles ‘crack cocaine of gambling’

Posted on March 6, 2014 by admin

Fixed-odds betting terminals. Four words that hardly roll off the tongue. No wonder “crack cocaine” gambling machines has caught on to describe the gaming terminals found in betting shops across Britain.

A year ago, most people would never have heard of FoBTs – or “Fobtees” as they are pronounced.

Unless you work in the betting industry or dwell in a bookie any longer that it takes to put a tenner on some no-hoper of a nag at the Grand National, it’s unlikely you would have given the touch-screen gaming terminals anything more than a fleeting glance.

Read the full article in The Telegraph online.

MP warns on bet limit for bookies’ machines

Posted on March 5, 2014 by admin

Dramatically reducing the maximum bet gamblers can place on a single spin of high-stake, casino-style machines would result in a “murky” compromise with the big five bookmakers, a campaigning MP has argued.

Graham Jones has been Labour’s most vocal MP on tackling the ill-effects of high-speed fixed-odds betting terminals, but said he was “not convinced” by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling’s solution of capping stakes at £2.

Currently, punters can lose up to £300 a minute on the machines. He added he was “not quite on the same page” as the campaign, even though he was hosting the Parliamentary launch of the group’s latest research yesterday.

Read the full article in The Independent online.

Labour turned a flutter into a fatal addiction to gambling

Posted on March 4, 2014 by admin

Is there nothing you can’t gamble on? Yesterday, I received an email from one of the country’s top bookmakers offering to refund losing bets on the outcome of the Oscar Pistorius trial should the athlete be acquitted. Leaving aside the tastelessness of the invitation, I have no idea why it was made to me, since I rarely bet. Even buying my one and only National Lottery ticket when it launched 20 years ago left me consumed with Presbyterian guilt. The idea of risking and losing money that I cannot afford to part with is anathema.

But many people have no such hang-ups. Recent figures suggest that about half the adult population has gambled in the past year, and this rises to 70 per cent when the Lottery is included. For most, it is an innocent pastime carried out in moderation. But for some, it is an addiction that wrecks lives.

Read the full article in The Daily Telegraph online.

Bookmakers accused of targeting deprived communities with high stakes gambling machines that helped rake in £13BILLION last year

Posted on March 4, 2014 by admin

British bookmakers and betting shop proprietors have been accused of targeting the most deprived communities with high stakes gambling machines that have helped earn the industry £13 billion.

A parliamentary report reveals that in the 55 most deprived areas of the country, there are a total of 2,691 betting shops, in which £13bn was staked on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), with losses of £470 million.

The figures released by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling reportedly show that bookmakers and betting shops have targeted the most deprived and poorest areas, where there is high unemployment, high crime and low income.

Read the full article in The Daily Mail online.

TV gambling adverts could be banned: Maria Miller pledges changes to ensure ‘children and vulnerable’ are protected

Posted on March 3, 2014 by admin

Gambling adverts could be banned from TV, Maria Miller said yesterday.

The Culture Secretary has asked the Advertising Standards Authority to consider whether it is ‘appropriate’ that so many commercials from the gambling industry are broadcast.

The review could either see limits imposed on gambling adverts – or could even see them outlawed altogether.

Mrs Miller said she was concerned at the ‘seemingly constant’ gambling adverts on television, and pledged changes to ensure ‘children and the vulnerable’ are protected.

Read the full article in The Daily Mail online.