Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Powerful lobbyists and fawning ministers are corroding society

Posted on January 13, 2014 by admin

It was a classic exchange. Neil Goulden, chair of the Association of British Bookmakers, did his best to defend the indefensible. We must place the problem of addictive fixed-odds betting machines in context, he told Radio 4’s Today programme last week. They constitute only a small part of the industry’s total revenues; there are very few problem gamblers. Britain has the best regulated and most socially responsible gaming industry in the world. Obviously voluntary efforts, which had already achieved much, needed to go further. But there was no need for more intervention.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.

Chancellor under fire after taking betting machine boss on trade trip to Beijing

Posted on January 13, 2014 by admin

Chancellor George Osborne is facing questions over why he took a betting firm tycoon on a trip to China.
Luke Alvarez, a boss of one of the world’s biggest makers of betting machines, was taken on a trade mission to the superpower.

The head of the Inspired Gaming Group was one of 20 business leaders handpicked to join Mr Osborne on the trip.
His firm supplies nearly half of Britain’s 34,000 Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

Read the full article in The Daily Mail online.

Roulette machines do not belong on the high street

Posted on January 13, 2014 by admin

A generation ago the idea of allowing a fast-action form of electronic roulette to be played and promoted in bookmakers’ shops across the land would have been regarded as absurd.

Roulette is a fixed-odds game and the prevailing wisdom of a couple of centuries held that such casino games should be confined to casinos. There even used to be a “24-hour rule” on casino membership to ensure applicants, even millionaires, had time to cool off.

Read the full article The Guardian online.

George Osborne on trade mission with tycoon who makes machines labeled ‘crack cocaine of gambling’

Posted on January 13, 2014 by admin

George Osborne took the boss of the world’s biggest maker of casino machines on a trade mission to China.

The Chancellor invited Luke Alvarez along even though anti-betting ­campaigners have branded his products the “crack cocaine of gambling”.

Mr Alvarez was one of 20 delegates from British tech companies who joined Mr Osborne on the flagship trip.

But furious critics said his presence made a mockery of the Government’s pledge to tackle what David Cameron only last week acknowledged was the “problem” of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals found in bookies’ shops across Britain.

Matt Zarb-Cousin of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling said: “Mr Cameron might say he’s concerned about FOBTs but he appears to care more about the profits of the firm that makes them.

Read the full article in The Mirror online.

Miliband: Time to ‘pull the plug’ on betting terminals

Posted on January 12, 2014 by admin

Ed Miliband has said it is time to pull the plug on fixed odds betting terminals. Writing in the Daily Express, the Labour leader said that bookies across Britain were being turned into “mini casinos”.

Read the full article on ITV online.

Watch the Opposition Debate on FOBTs in full

Posted on January 10, 2014 by admin

Watch the full Opposition Debate on FOBTs from January 8, 2014. The debate was moved by Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, Clive Effiord. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Helen Grant, responded on behalf of the Government.

Market Report: Bookmakers downgraded as a result of clampdown on fixed-odds betting machines

Posted on January 10, 2014 by admin

It looks as if the bookies may be playing in the last-chance saloon when it comes to fixed-odds betting machines, the so-called “crack cocaine” of gambling.

Bookmakers are facing a clampdown on the highly lucrative machines, which can take up to £300 a minute, after David Cameron pledged to “get to grips” with the issue.

Read the full article in The Independent online.

Miliband ready to talk to bookmakers about betting terminals

Posted on January 10, 2014 by admin

Ed Miliband is prepared to meet bookmakers to discuss Labour’s war on betting terminals, as the industry grapples with how to withstand the political onslaught on their machine cash-cows.

Share prices at William Hill and Ladbrokes took a battering a day after David Cameron expressed sympathy with the Opposition leader’s attack on the proliferation of fixed-odds betting terminals (FoBTs), which several MPs believe is a cause of gambling addiction.

Read the full article in The Financial Times online.

Cameron move on problem gambling blunts Labour attack

Posted on January 10, 2014 by admin

Britain’s bookmakers face a clampdown on lucrative digital roulette machines capable of taking bets of £300 per minute after David Cameron said he would “get to grips” with problem gambling.

The electronic machines located inside gambling shops are a cash cow for the UK industry, accounting for about £1.6bn of its £3bn in-store revenues, according to research group Mintel.

Read the full article in The Financial Times online.

Cameron vows to act on ‘crack cocaine’ slot machines: PM calls for cross-party action when review of their dangers is complete

Posted on January 10, 2014 by admin

David Cameron pledged to crack down on fixed odds betting machines, dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of the High street yesterday.

The Prime Minister branded the machines, on which punters can lose up to £300 a minute, ‘a problem’ and called for cross party support for action when a review of the dangers reports back in the Spring.

Mr Cameron intervened after Labour forced a vote in the House of Commons on plans outlined by Ed Miliband to give councils more powers to restrict the spread of the machines, which carry electronic roulette.

Read the full article in The Daily Mail online.