ITV breakfast programme Daybreak looks into the impact of high street betting shops and FOBT addiction following a successful Lib Dem motion to give Local Authorities more control over new applications. Watch Campaign Consultant Matt Zarb-Cousin discuss his experience with FOBT addiction online here.
The summer of 2013 will be remembered in gaming terms as the one where the Irish government announced big changes to gaming legislation; the main focus of this would be legalising casinos and setting in place the infrastructure to make it happen. Another part of the announcement, however, was that the country was banning the much-maligned Fixed Odds Betting Terminal, or FOBT.
Read the full article on EuroSlot online pages 27-28.
The Lib Dems have backed a call to give councils the power to limit the number of betting shops in their area.
The party voted to curb the proliferation of bookmakers they say has been driven by a boom in high stakes roulette machines.
Fixed odds betting terminals are now major source of profits for bookies.
The vote gives local government minister Don Foster, who proposed the motion, a mandate to push for it to become law.
Speaking at the party’s conference in Glasgow, he argued that the growth of betting shops has been driven not by betting on sporting events, like horse racing or football, but by FOBTs, which had turned them into “mini-casinos in the High Streets”.
Read the full article on BBC News online.
Israeli newspaper World Crunch reveals full extent of FOBT issue – more so than any UK newspaper to date.
“It only takes 20 seconds for the ball to spin in the roulette wheel. The gambler, a twenty-something man, is sitting on a tall chair holding a wad of cash. The ball stops, and the young man has lost. He bets again, and 20 seconds later has lost again. Within exactly two minutes, he has spent 60 pounds, and walks out of England’s largest casino.”
Read the on full article here.
BURY North Conservative MP David Nuttall has hit back over criticisms levelled at him by a prominent gambling regulation campaigner.
Mr Nuttall has been taken to task by Derek Webb, founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, over a question he asked in Parliament earlier this month.
On September 2, Mr Nuttall asked MP Brandon Lewis, secretary of state for communities and local government, how many meetings his Parliamentary under-secretary MP Don Foster had arranged with Mr Webb.
Liberal Democrat Mr Foster had proposed a motion giving more power to councils to deal with the number of betting shops in their borough.
Mr Webb claims Mr Nuttall was acting on behalf of bookmakers and not his constituents when he put this question forward.
Read the full article on Bury Times online.
The proliferation of betting shops on our high streets – driven by addictive, high speed, high stake, and high risk “roulette machines” – is resulting in increasing opposition from local Councillors and communities. Even though they are virtually powerless to oppose new betting shops opening, neither through the planning nor the licensing process, more and more people are nonetheless registering their opposition. (more…)
My partner Hannah O’Donnell and I founded and fund both the Campaign for Fairer Gambling and the Stop the FOBTs Campaign. Our Stop the FOBTs campaign is focuses on our recommendation to reduce the maximum stakes on roulette machines in betting shops – known as B2s or Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) – from £100 maximum to £2 per spin, in line with all other British gaming machines. The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has a wider remit and also takes positions on broader gambling issues.
Experts in player behavior
My understanding of gambling behavior comes from my many years as one of the most successful poker players of my time and as the inventor of the leading proprietary casino table game, Three Card Poker™, and the leading casino table side bet game, 21+3® blackjack.
I was always a competent poker player, doing particularly well from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. I was responsible for organising what was once the only casino card room game of Texas Hold’Em in the UK and also for introducing Omaha into the UK.
In 1994, I created a new table game for British casinos which became Three Card Poker™, also known as Casino Brag™. I complied with the written requests of the regulated industry by proving the viability of the game in the US, although it did not get introduced to Britain until 2002.
We took an interest in gambling regulation and observed how inadequate internet gambling regulation was. We conducted an independent survey of attitudes to internet gambling, placed an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal on the subject of US internet gambling regulation and submitted a consultation in the proposed licensing conditions and codes of practice prior to the 2005 UK Gambling Act.
The impact of betting shops on communities will be up for discussion at a public debate due to be held next month.
The Central London Debating Club is to stage its first meeting in the East End, bringing together an expert panel to discuss one of the issues of the moment.
Organisers hope the event, to be held in Whitechapel, will give campaigners the opportunity to challenge those who support the rights of betting shops head on.
Tony Koutsoumbos, who chairs the society, said: “Campaigners say that betting shops foster gambling addictions and pose a real harm to the community, while the industry insists that people are responsible for their own actions and betting shops are simply providing a service and creating jobs in the process.
Read the full article on The Docklands & East London Advertiser online.
Here’s another suitable member for Gamblers Anonymous — even though his addiction has now been revealed to the whole country. Last week The Sun reported that the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, Gordon Taylor, had staked “£4m on more than 2,000 bets in just 30 months”. Taylor is being pursued for gambling debts by one of the many firms he used, which probably explains why the news of his very private vice found its way into the papers.
Read the full article in The Sunday Times here.
Listen to Matt Zarb-Cousin discuss the social impact of FOBTs on BBC5 Live Drive from 1.21.45 here.