Fixed Odds Betting Terminals


Posted on April 10, 2013 by admin

A consultation on highly addictive betting machines, known as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’, ends today.

The machines have flourished in high street betting shops following Labour’s liberalisation of gambling laws.

Many critics say the machines are a key factor in the explosion in problem gamblers, particularly among the poor.

Read the full story on The Christian Institute online.

SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Anguish behind lucrative bookies’ high-tech facade as female staff left to fend for themselves

Posted on March 20, 2013 by admin

Once they were smoky, spit-and-sawdust establishments where old men shuffled in to put a pound on a nag in the 3.15 at Towcester.

Today they have become high-tech, glass-fronted retail outlets where traditional over-the-counter sports betting has taken second place to the highly attractive – some might say addictive – betting machines, which rake in millions of pounds a year for the major bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betfred and Gala Coral.

But as bookies seek to capitalise on the inexorable rise of the machines, it is the shop staff who say they are suffering from the drive for greater cost-savings and longer opening hours to fuel the growing obsession with the fixed-odd betting machines.

Read the full story on This Is Money Online

High-stakes bid to halt roulette machines at bookies

Posted on March 18, 2013 by admin

A campaign has been launched to halt a surge in city centre roulette machines – dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling.

Bookies have been accused of by-passing legislation to flood Manchester with dangerously addictive games. The city currently has nearly 500 fixed odds betting terminals – stand-alone machines capable of taking up to £18,000 an hour.

Campaigners want the government to tighten up the rules – and the council to challenge new applications.

An application for the city centre’s 25th bookmaker, a William Hill on Deansgate, is due to be considered by licensing chiefs in the coming weeks. City centre councillor Kevin Peel – who is leading the campaign – said: “Bookies are getting round the rules laid out in the Gambling Act in order to install more of these fixed odds betting terminals – dubbed the crack cocaine of gambling due to their addictive nature.

“I say enough is enough. I am not anti-gambling or anti-bookies – I just think they should be betting shops, not mini-casinos.”

Read the full story in the Manchester Evening News online. 

London’s blight lights

Posted on February 21, 2013 by admin

Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman says betting shops are a blight on London’s high streets, but are they any less aesthetically pleasing than McDonald’s or Starbucks?

Probably not, but then a coffee has never cost me £50 in either of those place. At least for 50 quid in Starbucks, they throw in cinnamon twist.

A total of £9.5billion was spent on gambling in London in 2012, almost a quarter of the UK total, according to the Campaign for Fairer Gambling. There are 1,773 betting shops in London. Of that number, 86 per cent have locked toilets and 12 per cent have pens that work. That’s according to a survey of me.

A further four per cent have punters that work.

Story by Derek McGovern, in Daily Mirror published on 21/02/2013


Posted on February 20, 2013 by admin

A GAMBLING addict admits he splurges his £845 a month benefits on roulette machines.

Michael Waring, 28, is so hooked on the casino games that he calls his vice “the crack cocaine of gambling”.

The machines, found in bookies across Britain, allow players to stake up to £100 on three spins of a roulette wheel per minute with a jackpot prize of up to £500.

Read the full story online  in the Daily Star.

Webb accuses Bookies of making ‘flawed assertions’ about campaign

Posted on February 19, 2013 by admin

Assertions that The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has commercial interests have been met robustly by the man at the heart of the fight to see FOBTs in their current state outlawed.

Read the full article here from the February 1 – February 7 2013 edition of Coinslot.

Coinslot 01.02.13 Frontpage


Derek Webb expresses the impact of FOBTs on BBC Sunday Politics show

Posted on February 18, 2013 by admin

Watch Derek Webb, the founder of the Stop the FOBTs campaign and its wider initiative, the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, on the BBC’s Sunday Politics Show (40mins in). (more…)

Stop the FOBTs officially launches at Westminster

Posted on February 12, 2013 by admin

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…)

Campaign calls for Gambling Commission to act on FOBTs

Posted on January 23, 2013 by admin

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…)

£5bn gambled on Britain’s high streets – What’s happening where you are?

Posted on January 8, 2013 by admin

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

Adrian Parkinson, Campaign Consultant on