Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Clampdown on the ‘crack cocaine’ gaming machines: Payouts to be capped and punters told how much they are losing

Posted on August 9, 2013 by admin

Slot machines dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of the  gambling world are to have their payouts capped for three years under plans to clamp down on ‘Wild West’ betting practices.

The Mail has learned that a government review will  conclude that until at least 2016 bookmakers cannot put up the stakes or the prizes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), where punters can place bets of  up to £100 a turn.

High street bookies have also been told to draw up a code of  conduct for the casino-style machines which will allow customers to set a limit on how much they are prepared to lose.

Read the full article on The Daily Mail online.

£3.1 billion gambled on betting shop roulette machines across Yorkshire

Posted on August 8, 2013 by admin

The latest estimates of gambling on betting shop roulette machines, released by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, show that across the Yorkshire region over £3.1 billion was gambled on them. With over 771 betting shops and 2,819 roulette machines Yorkshire is estimated to have contributed £106 million to the betting industry’s £1.5 billion profits from the machines, which have been described as the most addictive gambling product in the UK.

The continuing controversy over the bookmakers’ roulette machines which are currently being reviewed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, has resulted in Members of Parliament across the country calling for action, including Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman who has said: Walking the streets of any town or city in the UK you can’t help but be struck by the prevalence of betting shops on our High Streets. What is less striking to the unfamiliar eye is the proliferation of gaming machines within these shops over the past ten years.

MP Hilary Benn’s Leeds Central constituency tops the Yorkshire region with an estimated £143 million gambled whilst Julian Sturdy MP’s York Outer, with only two betting shops, sees just £8 million gambled on the highly contentious machines.


Campaign for Fairer Gambling backs calls to end lone staffing in betting shops

Posted on July 3, 2013 by admin

An old friend of mine wrote in a letter to Gordon Brown in 2008 that “Betting shops have now become the target of choice for both organised armed gangs and localised anti-social behaviour. The introduction of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals has seen a rise in problem gambling which manifests itself in physical attacks on betting shop staff”.” That old friend was Ian McCartney, former Member of Parliament for Makerfield and a Cabinet Minister. He was proposing, along with betting shop union Communities, to get the national bookmakers to provide better working conditions and protection for their shop workers. The cause of the decline in their conditions of work and the increase in violence toward shop staff was pinpointed in his letter as Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. (more…)

Newham council told to accept betting shop it rejected

Posted on June 17, 2013 by admin

A council has lost its battle to stop the opening of a new betting shop in its borough.

The multinational bookmaker Paddy Power won its appeal at Thames magistrates court against a refusal by Newham council, in east London, to allow it to open a betting shop in the area, one of the country’s most deprived. Newham has more than 80 betting shops already – the third highest of any London borough.

Councillors rejected an operator’s licence in February, arguing that the shop would attract crime and antisocial behaviour, and that profits would come from high-speed, high-stakes gambling machines rather than from over the counter bets.

Read the full article on The Guardian online.

Campaign challenges IEA report on Crack Cocaine of Gambling

Posted on April 24, 2013 by admin

In advance of a debate scheduled for Wednesday 24th April, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has published a report questioning whether the fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) are indeed the crack cocaine of gambling and threatening the credibility of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling.

The Campaign has hit back saying that the report is nothing more than Association of British Bookmaker (ABB) propaganda and omits key evidence that proves the harm caused by the electronic gaming machines with roulette content, found in betting shops. (more…)


Posted on April 12, 2013 by admin

‘Racing backs bookies in FOBTs battle’ Read page 6 & 7 of the Racing Post from 11th April by clicking here.


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