By Derek Webb, Founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling
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.