We DID get it wrong on crack cocaine gambling machines, admits Tessa Jowell

Posted on January 27, 2016 by admin

Labour’s former culture secretary has admitted that her reforms led to a free-for-all of ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machines on high streets.

Tessa Jowell was in post when fixed-odds betting terminals were introduced in 2001, and four years later she brought in laws to regulate them.

The terminals allow users to stake £100 a time on games including blackjack, roulette and poker. They are so addictive they have become known as the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling.

Read more in the Daily Mail

Bookies making £34million a WEEK from ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machines

Posted on January 27, 2016 by admin

Campaigners say tens of thousands of pounds can be raked in by some individual machines each week.

Bookies are making a staggering £34 million a week from ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machines in betting shops after a surge in profits.

Ladbrokes saw a 9% increase in money made from punters on the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) last year and Paddy Power raked in almost £1,400 a week from EVERY machine.

Read the full story in the Mirror

Lord Clement-Jones and Tessa Jowell back Clare Foges’ call for clampdown on FOBTs

Posted on January 27, 2016 by admin

Is Clare Foges right — Tories must rage against a betting machine that is wreaking havoc?

Lord Clement-Jones and Tessa Jowell discuss the need for reform of the gambling market and show their support for Clare Foges’ call for a clampdown on FOBTs.

Read their full response in The Times

Tories must rage against the betting machine

Posted on January 25, 2016 by admin

An opinion piece from David Cameron’s former speech writer, Clare Foges.

If Cameron wants to help gambling addicts he has to curb a free market that is wreaking havoc.

At a long-ago Davos gathering, David Cameron said this about the modern Conservative party and its relationship to the free market: “If markets, and capitalism, and the activities of individual businesses conflict with our vision of the good society… we must not sit there and take it, going along with the old orthodoxy that nothing should be allowed to impede the pursuit of profit. We must speak out.”

I remembered those words last week when reading of a case in Snaresbrook crown court. A 71-year-old man pleaded guilty to damaging seven fixed-odds betting terminals (or FOBTs) with a kitchen knife.

Read the full article in The Times

The Crack Cocaine of Gambling

Posted on January 21, 2016 by admin

Afshin Rattansi goes underground on DAVOS and discusses gambling and the week’s news.

Wimbledon may be rigged by gambling syndicates, but why is David Cameron continuing to encourage Britain’s most vulnerable to bet their social security away? Afshin Rattansi speaks to Labour MP Carolyn Harris to hear her views on FOBTs.

Watch again on (at 19 mins 15 secs)

How can the Government trust the Responsible Gambling Trust?

Posted on January 20, 2016 by admin

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling writes about the role of the Responsible Gambling Trust, following the announcement that its Chair is standing down.

Matt Zarb-Cousin appears on Sunday Politics South East

Posted on January 18, 2016 by admin

Campaign Consultant Matt Zarb-Cousin discusses the impact of gambling addiction and FOBTs on the Sunday Politics Show.

Watch the full interview on BBC iPlayer (at 51 mins 25 seconds)

Chair of leading UK gambling charity announces retirement

Posted on January 18, 2016 by admin

The chair of the UK’s leading charity that aims to minimise gambling addiction, who also lobbied on behalf of Britain’s bookmakers, has announced his retirement.

Neil Goulden issued a statement saying he will retire from his role as a trustee and chair of the Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT), which is the country’s most influential voice on gambling-related harm.

However the RGT has been taken to task for being too close to the industry. Critics say the way the RGT is funded – through donations from the gambling industry – already raises questions about the independence of its research programme.

Read the full the story in the Guardian.

Responsible Gambling Trust Chair steps down

Posted on January 15, 2016 by admin

The Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) has announced that Neil Goulden is to retire from his role as a trustee and chair of the charity that raises funds from the gambling industry operating in Britain to fund research, treatment and harm-prevention activities.

The news comes after it emerged that he lobbied on behalf of the gambling industry as his organisation began research into fixed-odds betting terminals.

Read the full press statement from the Responsible Gambling Trust

Zac Goldsmith criticised over betting industry donations to mayoral campaign

Posted on January 15, 2016 by admin

The Conservative mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith has been accused of being too close to the betting industry following two recent donations to his campaign.

The MP for Richmond has accepted a £3,000 donation from the top gambling industry lobbyists, Camberton Associates, who represent major gambling firms including Ladbrokes.

Read the full story in The Guardian