FOBTs

LGiU: Betting shops are a growing problem, so let’s work together to solve it

Posted on September 20, 2013 by admin

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling writes for LGiU on the growing problem of betting shops on our high streets

The high speed, high stakes casino gaming machines in betting shops now constantly in the news have been described as “the crack cocaine of gambling”, and evidence suggests they are the most addictive form of gambling in the UK. It is these gaming machines, more commonly known as Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs) that are driving the clustering and proliferation of betting shops on our high streets.

Each betting shop is limited to four FOBTs, but they are so profitable that bookmakers can now afford to open multiple outlets on prime, high street locations in an attempt to maximize the number of machines. This is also contributing to higher rents and pricing many other local businesses off the high street. Whilst the number of betting shops has increased since 2005 by around 600, it is the relocation of tertiary shops to high streets that is compounding the problem for local authorities whose powers to curb their proliferation are restricted.

Read the full article on LGiU online.

The Scourge Of Slots In The UK…

Posted on September 17, 2013 by admin

Israeli newspaper World Crunch reveals full extent of FOBT issue – more so than any UK newspaper to date.

“It only takes 20 seconds for the ball to spin in the roulette wheel. The gambler, a twenty-something man, is sitting on a tall chair holding a wad of cash. The ball stops, and the young man has lost. He bets again, and 20 seconds later has lost again. Within exactly two minutes, he has spent 60 pounds, and walks out of England’s largest casino.”

Read the on full article here.

Whistleblower hits out at MPs

Posted on September 11, 2013 by admin

A WIGAN man at the heart of a campaign to rid betting shops of machines he dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ has hit out at the Government’s attitude towards the issue.

Adrian Parkinson, who previously worked for Tote and is now spokesman for the Fairer Gambling organisation, was involved in launching the machines – known as fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) – from 1999 until 2008, and authored the study for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling last year.

The results found that in Wigan alone, 87 FOBTs in 24 shops produced a gross profit of £2.89m.

The culture secretary Maria Miller is due to announce the outcome of a review of gaming machine stakes and prizes.

But she is expected to resist calls to drastically reduce stakes on FOBTs.

Mr Parkinson called FOBTs the “crack cocaine of gambling” but bookies say there is no evidence they cause addiction and his campaign has been backed by the MP for Makerfield, Yvonne Fovargue.

Read the full article on Wigan Today online.

Maria Miller set to freeze stakes on fixed odds machines

Posted on August 23, 2013 by admin

Gamblers playing roulette machines in betting shops will continue to be allowed to bet up to £100 a spin, the BBC understands.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller is due to announce the outcome of a review of gaming machine stakes and prizes.

But she is expected to resist calls to drastically reduce stakes on so-called Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT).

Read the full article on BBC News online.

Newsnight: Derek Webb debates the impact of FOBTs

Posted on August 16, 2013 by admin

Watch Derek Webb, founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling and Stop the FOBTs, discuss the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ with Newsnight host Emily Maitlis and ABB Chief Executive Dirk Vennix online.

‘Clampdown on FOBTs’ nothing but political spin says Campaign for Fairer Gambling

Posted on August 14, 2013 by admin

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has responded to misleading claims from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) following an article published in the Daily Mail, which claimed the Government were “clamping down on FOBTs”.

The article referred to the roulette machines in betting shops known as Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), which are being reviewed in the Triennial Review of Stakes and Prizes by the DCMS. The Campaign for Fairer Gambling and its Stop the FOBTs Campaign has been presenting the case for a stake reduction from a £100 maximum to £2 per spin for some time, which would bring them into line with all other UK gaming machines.

At no point has the Campaign argued for a prize reduction from the current £500 maximum, nor has it taken issue with the existing B3 games which are already capped at £2 per spin, as these games do not have a significant impact on levels of problem gambling. Without a reduction in stake on the high speed, high stake B2 casino content, there will not be any clampdown on FOBTs.

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Central Leeds named gambling capital of Yorkshire

Posted on August 13, 2013 by admin

The supercasino hasn’t even been built yet, but machine-happy leeds is already a gambling capital. Aisha Iqbal reports.

New research on betting shop ‘roulette’ machines or Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs) claims that more than £3.1 billion was gambled on the controversial machines across the Yorkshire region in just one year.

The Leeds Central constituency tops the Yorkshire region, with an estimated £143 million gambled, according to research by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling

Campaigners say that 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.

Read the full article on the Yorkshire Evening Post online.

Anger over Government ‘failure’ to tackle addictive gaming machines

Posted on August 13, 2013 by admin

Addiction experts have branded them “the crack-cocaine of gambling”.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals invite gamblers to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds.

Medway Council says strict restrictions on maximum stakes are urgently needed, but the Government doesn’t agree. John Ryall spoke to former gambling addict Matt Zarb-Cousin and Medway Council Labour Group Leader Vince Maple.

Watch the full video on ITV Meridian News online.

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.

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