Listen to Matt Zarb-Cousin discuss the social impact of FOBTs on BBC5 Live Drive from 1.21.45 here.
Gamblers playing roulette machines in betting shops will continue to be allowed to bet up to £100 a spin, the BBC understands.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller is due to announce the outcome of a review of gaming machine stakes and prizes.
But she is expected to resist calls to drastically reduce stakes on so-called Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT).
Read the full article on BBC News online.
Watch Derek Webb, founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling and Stop the FOBTs, discuss the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ with Newsnight host Emily Maitlis and ABB Chief Executive Dirk Vennix online.
The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has responded to misleading claims from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) following an article published in the Daily Mail, which claimed the Government were “clamping down on FOBTs”.
The article referred to the roulette machines in betting shops known as Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), which are being reviewed in the Triennial Review of Stakes and Prizes by the DCMS. The Campaign for Fairer Gambling and its Stop the FOBTs Campaign has been presenting the case for a stake reduction from a £100 maximum to £2 per spin for some time, which would bring them into line with all other UK gaming machines.
At no point has the Campaign argued for a prize reduction from the current £500 maximum, nor has it taken issue with the existing B3 games which are already capped at £2 per spin, as these games do not have a significant impact on levels of problem gambling. Without a reduction in stake on the high speed, high stake B2 casino content, there will not be any clampdown on FOBTs.
The supercasino hasn’t even been built yet, but machine-happy leeds is already a gambling capital. Aisha Iqbal reports.
New research on betting shop ‘roulette’ machines or Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs) claims that more than £3.1 billion was gambled on the controversial machines across the Yorkshire region in just one year.
The Leeds Central constituency tops the Yorkshire region, with an estimated £143 million gambled, according to research by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling
Campaigners say that with over 771 betting shops and 2,819 roulette machines, Yorkshire is estimated to have contributed £106 million to the betting industry’s £1.5 billion profits from the machines.
Read the full article on the Yorkshire Evening Post online.
Addiction experts have branded them “the crack-cocaine of gambling”.
Fixed Odds Betting Terminals invite gamblers to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds.
Medway Council says strict restrictions on maximum stakes are urgently needed, but the Government doesn’t agree. John Ryall spoke to former gambling addict Matt Zarb-Cousin and Medway Council Labour Group Leader Vince Maple.
Watch the full video on ITV Meridian News online.
“In response to the Daily Mail article, which reported a “crackdown” on FOBTs, the Campaign for Fairer Gambling is concerned that the Government’s rhetoric is misleading.
In a newsletter earlier this year, the Association of British Bookmakers boasted of their influence in averting a separate review of FOBTs. Instead, the Government decided to include Category B2, which facilitates £100 stakes on FOBTs, in the Triennial Review of Stakes and Prizes – a mechanism traditionally used to increase either or both in line with inflation.
A stake reduction on FOBTs in the Triennial Review was therefore unlikely, but it has allowed the Government to imply that they have “cracked down” on FOBTs by capping the maximum stake at £100 until 2016. The only responsible course of action would have been to reduce the maximum stake to £2, bringing FOBTs in line with all other Category B gaming machines as a matter of precaution and to comply with the licensing objective of prevention of harm to young and vulnerable persons, until it is determined that FOBTs are not addictive, as all available evidence suggests that they are the most addictive form of gambling.”
In advance of a debate scheduled for Wednesday 24th April, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has published a report questioning whether the fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) are indeed the crack cocaine of gambling and threatening the credibility of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling.
The Campaign has hit back saying that the report is nothing more than Association of British Bookmaker (ABB) propaganda and omits key evidence that proves the harm caused by the electronic gaming machines with roulette content, found in betting shops. (more…)