Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Reaction to 25% FOBT tax rate in 2014 Budget

Posted on March 19, 2014 by admin

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has revealed that a 25% tax rate on FOBTs may well wipe £78 million off the bookmakers’ profits – but does little to protect those affected by problem gambling.

Adrian Parkinson, Consultant for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, said: “This increase in Gross Profits Tax (GPT) on FOBTs to 25% may well aid the treasury, but does little to deal with the many issues created by these machines as problem gambling research, education and treatment will not see any of this revenue.

“It will be suggested that this move will slow down the proliferation of betting shops on high streets, but the addictive nature of FOBTs means the bookmakers will still be raking in huge sums. The government should be looking at dealing with the root of the problem – the high stakes and high intensity play of FOBTs, rather than tax the losses of those addicted to them.

“We may also see a rise in the aggressive marketing of these products from the bookmakers, who will now be desperately trying to attract even more customers. This increase in tax will not be passed on to the FOBT gambler, so is unlikely to act as a deterrent in any way.

“The government should be focussing instead on the social and economic cost of problem gambling, which far outweighs the revenue generated by FOBTs, even at 25%. But with only one NHS problem gambling clinic in the UK, this seems a long way off.”

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.

£12.1m gambled away on Greenwich FOBTs

Posted on March 19, 2014 by admin

The recent report by The Campaign for Fairer Gambling at the beginning of the month on Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs), termed the crack cocaine of gambling, has provided detailed data on usage across the country in 2013. These are the machines that enable gamblers to stake up to £100 per spin with only seconds between spins. They generate big profits for the gambling companies and you can see why. The report contains a map and it shows that in 2013 there were 53 licences and 196 machines in Greenwich Borough. They had £64m of cash stuffed into them, with £342.4m gambled and £12.2m lost. That is a lot of money.

Read the full blog from Chris Smith online.

Former gambling boss reveals truth about controversial betting terminals

Posted on March 19, 2014 by admin

An ex-gambling executive has lifted the lid on how the betting industry has put controversial fixed odds terminals in every high street bookies.

The games machines, which let punters stake £300 a minute or £18,000 an hour, have been dubbed “the crack cocaine of gambling”.

Last year more than £60m vanished into fixed odds betting terminals in Wales.

They are commonly used to play roulette and were introduced to Britain in 2001.

Read the full article in Wales Online

Scots poorest gamble £2bn on betting machines

Posted on March 14, 2014 by admin

People in the poorest parts of Scotland staked almost double the amount on addictive gambling machines than those in wealthy areas, worrying new figures reveal.

“The figures back up the view that people in poorer areas are being targeted”, said one local MP.

Read the full article in The Christian Institute online

Data blog: East London counts the cost of fixed odds betting terminals

Posted on March 10, 2014 by admin

Tower Hamlets has the fourth highest loss per player on fixed odds betting terminals in the country at £2,249, according to the Campaign for Fairer Gambling. Newham comes in at 10th with £1,894 average losses among its near 10,000 estimated players. All are dwarfed by the City of London with £32,883 average losses per player.

Read the full article from The Wharf online.

Gamblers in Wales lose £60m in the last year on controversial high stakes betting machines

Posted on March 10, 2014 by admin

Punters playing high stakes betting machines lost £60m in Wales last year – with one addict alone blowing £60,000 in four months.

Fixed odds betting terminals in some of the nation’s poorest areas wracked up some of the biggest losses.

In Denbighshire the highest average amount was squandered – £893. In Cardiff it was £881. Newport players blew an average of £836, while in Rhondda Cynon Taf the figure was £817.

Adrian Parkinson, of the Campaign for Fair Gambling used to promote FOBT’s for betting company Tote.

Read the full article in Wales online.

Scotland’s poorest gamblers lose £2BILLION on bookie terminals in deprived areas

Posted on March 10, 2014 by admin

MONEY staked in poorer areas on casino games terminals, branded as “crack cocaine for gamblers” by critics, was almost double the figure staked in wealthy areas last year.

SOME of Scotland’s poorest people pumped £2billion into high-stakes slot machines last year.

The Sunday Mail can reveal the amount punted on controversial high-speed casino games terminals in poor areas was almost double the figure staked by residents in the country’s wealthiest parts.

Figures show that in the nine most deprived council areas, £2billion was staked on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) by punters in 471 bookmakers. Gamblers lost a total of £69million.

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.

We should stack the odds against gambling

Posted on March 6, 2014 by admin

Liberalisation has gone too far. Fixed-odds betting terminals are fleecing deprived communities

On a damp spring evening in the backstreets of Hammersmith the fair-haired young man with a posh Home Counties accent seemed out of place in a room full of broken dreams. It was his first night at Gamblers Anonymous and he had refused an initial invitation to stand and speak. Eventually he found the courage.

Read the full article in The Times online.