Fixed Odds Betting Terminals
The Campaign for Fairer gambling officially launched “Stop the FOBTs” in Westminster yesterday – its latest Campaign which is already gathering public and political support.
The Campaign to stop the proliferation of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) on UK’s high streets has been in the media spotlight since the beginning of the year. MPs from all political parties gathered at the launch at the House of Commons to show support to the new, grassroots Campaign to be organized across the UK. (more…)
The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has welcomed the Government’s rejection of the select committee’s recommendation to ease restrictions on FOBTs and the Government’s inclusion of FOBTs in the upcoming Triennial Review of stakes and prizes. However, it calls for the Gambling Commission to take action by temporarily restricting new licence applications and curbing bookmakers advertising of the gaming machines. (more…)
The Guardian ran a story this weekend based on analysis undertaken by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling and research carried out by Geofutures on FOBTs and how much is being gambled in local communities – which has attracted further media attention in the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, local and regional press as well as BBC local radio and TV.
To find the stats for your area download the spreadsheet here and click on the arrow in column E to search for your MP.
Comment from Adrian Parkinson, Campaign for Fairer Gambling Consultant:
“Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) are touch-screen roulette and casino gaming machines in betting shops, on which it is possible to stake up to £100 every 20 seconds. The high stakes and speed of play have led to the machines being called “the crack cocaine of gambling”, and the Gambling Act 2005 limits each betting shop to four FOBTs – so bookies leapfrog regulations by opening up as many shops as possible, which is why we get clustering, especially in poorer areas as our research has shown. In 2007, a Scoping Study into the Gambling Act recommended FOBTs be “closely monitored” because of international research that suggested they had features that could create more problem gamblers. However, no such monitoring has taken place, and the government is due to respond to a Select Committee report next week calling for the cap of four FOBTs per shop to be lifted as an “anti-clustering measure”.
“We believe the only way to stop machine-driven proliferation of betting shops is to make the machines less profitable. So we recommend reducing to maximum stake from £100 down to £2, increasing the time between plays, and removing table game content – all of these recommendations would bring B2 machines in line with other Category B machines.”
For more information contact:
Matt Zarb-Cousin, Campaign Consultant on email@example.com
Adrian Parkinson, Campaign Consultant on Adrian@fairergambling.org
Warning over ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ as people in poorest areas spend £5bn on high-stakes machines
- Cities with high levels of unemployment spend more than their rural counterparts
- In the poorest areas, punters visited 1,251 betting shops and put £5.6billion into 4,454 machines
Read more of the coverage of our analysys on the Mail online.
See the latest story of FOBTs leading to problem gambling here at Kent Online.
The Campaign made the front page of Coinslot supporting the independent research commission by the Responsible Gambling Trust, but urging that a clear distinction is made between FOBTs and other Category B variants. Read the full article here.
An extraordinary article in the Daily Telegraph…our adverts seem to working! No official complaints received by the Campaign directly, so watch this space for more.
Tonight’s Panorama “Gambling Nation” takes a look at the darker side of the betting industry and focuses on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), their rise in popularity and how these machines are causing crime and disorder in betting shops. Watch the trailer here and tune in tonight at 8.30pm on BBC1 to hear the full story.
The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has retained Matt Zarb-Cousin to help get its message out.
Matt, whose previous roles have included a researcher in the House of Commons, will work on the Campaign with founder Derek Webb to highlight the issues surrounding “FOBTs” (fixed odds betting terminals), also known as B2 machines – the machines found offering roulette in high street betting shops. These machines were introduced when the betting shop sector was unregulated and then legitimised by the Labour Party in the 2005 Gambling Act. They have since multiplied to such an extent that they have been dubbed the “crack cocaine of gambling”.