EXCLUSIVE: Ed Miliband says it is time to pull the plug on fixed odds betting terminals

Posted on January 13, 2014 by admin

I’ve tried my luck – unsuccessfully – a few times on the Grand National.

But in towns and cities across Britain the old high street bookies are being turned into mini casinos, with more and more fixed odds betting terminals where punters can bet £300 a minute, £18,000 a hour.

And in the hardest-up areas of our country these betting terminals are spreading like an epidemic.

In Newham, London, there are 87 betting shops with 348 machines. In Liverpool there are 153 betting shops with around 559 FOBTs.

Read the full article in The Daily Star online.

Miliband: Time to ‘pull the plug’ on betting terminals

Posted on January 12, 2014 by admin

Ed Miliband has said it is time to pull the plug on fixed odds betting terminals. Writing in the Daily Express, the Labour leader said that bookies across Britain were being turned into “mini casinos”.

Read the full article on ITV online.

Cameron move on problem gambling blunts Labour attack

Posted on January 10, 2014 by admin

Britain’s bookmakers face a clampdown on lucrative digital roulette machines capable of taking bets of £300 per minute after David Cameron said he would “get to grips” with problem gambling.

The electronic machines located inside gambling shops are a cash cow for the UK industry, accounting for about £1.6bn of its £3bn in-store revenues, according to research group Mintel.

Read the full article in The Financial Times online.

Ed Miliband declares war on ‘crack cocaine’ gaming machines that allow punters to gamble £300 a minute

Posted on December 23, 2013 by admin

David Cameron was under increasing pressure to stop the spread of fixed-odds betting terminals last night.

Labour leader Ed Miliband announced plans to give councils the power to ban the gambling machines, which have been dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of the high street’.

Mr Miliband admitted Labour, which allowed the creation of the machines in the 2005 Gambling Act, had ‘changed our mind’, following widespread concern that the machines are addictive for problem gamblers.

Read the full article in The Daily Mail online.

Ed Miliband promises crackdown on betting shop ‘epidemic’

Posted on December 20, 2013 by admin

Ed Miliband will widen his attack on “predatory” capitalism on Friday by promising new laws to control the spread of bookmaking shops and betting machines.

Read the full article in The Financial Times online.

Ed Miliband: Roulette machines ’cause debt and misery’

Posted on December 20, 2013 by admin

Ed Miliband says fixed odds betting machines are behind a “gambling epidemic” in parts of the country.

The Labour leader vowed to give councils the power to ban the machines from bookmakers’ shops if his party wins the next election.

He said: “It causes debt and misery for families and is a magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Watch the video on BBC News online.

Labour fails to secure bookies’ roulette machine rethink

Posted on December 6, 2013 by admin

Labour has failed in an attempt to force ministers to restrict the stakes and prizes on roulette machines in bookmakers shops.

MPs voted to back a government decision to keep the maximum punters can bet per spin at £100.

Read the full story on BBC Online.

James Duddridge MP’s gambling law relaxation

Posted on November 15, 2013 by admin

An MP has faced a backlash after he spoke in parliament calling for gambling laws to be relaxed.

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, who is scrutinising a new gambling bill currently passing through the Commons, called for casinos to be allowed to offer online gambling on site.

But he has been slammed by critics and political opponents for ignoring the problems associated with gambling.

Read the full article in The Southend Standard online.

Ladbrokes accused over child gamblers and criminality

Posted on November 12, 2013 by admin

Britain’s biggest bookmaker warned staff not to mention the words “children”, “smashed” and “money laundering” in company documents for fear of exposing the scale of underage gambling and criminality in betting shops, a former company executive has said.

Paul Pearce, who was with Ladbrokes for 48 years and worked in the security team overseeing 2,000 shops from the company’s London headquarters, contacted the Guardian after the paper’s investigation into how high street betting shops were being used to launder drug money.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.

The gambling machines helping drug dealers ‘turn dirty money clean’

Posted on November 11, 2013 by admin

Dressed in a grey hoodie and jeans, James, 24, looks like just another lost soul in the high street, shuttling between the six betting shops in an east coast seaside town. It’s a weekday morning and if you catch up with him inside a bookmaker, you’ll find him peering intently into the green glowing screen of an electronic gambling machine – feeding in £200, “a score at a time”.

But this is not a young gambler blowing his meagre wages. James is a drug dealer and his interest in the bookmakers – and the fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in each shop – is all about laundering money. “That’s what turns dirty money clean,” he says. Dealers feed their drug money through the machines, losing a little and then cashing out with the vast majority of their stake, James says. They can then collect a printed ticket showing they have gambled that day – meaning that if stopped by police, they can answer questions about why an apparently unemployed young man carries hundreds of pounds in rolled-up cash.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.