Ministers fail to act on betting shop slot machines: Maximum stakes and top prizes to increase despite fears about problem gambling

Posted on October 11, 2013 by admin

Payouts on slot machines are set to increase despite fears about problem gambling, ministers announced yesterday.

Ministers came under fire yesterday after admitting that they will not act to curb the amount punters can lose on Fixed Odds Betting terminals in high street bookmakers – dubbed the crack cocaine of gambling – despite admitting the ‘potential for harm’ among players is ‘high’.

The government’s review of stakes and prizes on gambling machines yesterday decided not to reduce the maximum stake on the electronic roulette machines, which means players can continue to lose up to £100 every 20 seconds.

Read the full article in The Daily Mail online.

Campaign slams Government inaction on FOBTs

Posted on October 10, 2013 by admin

In its announcement on the Triennial Review of gaming machine stakes and prizes today, the DCMS has chosen to take no action against highly addictive Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) – the roulette machines found in betting shops.

Derek Webb, founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, who runs the Stop the FOBTs Campaign, said: “This is a ridiculous decision. It was a prime opportunity for the Government to exercise the precautionary principle and reduce the stakes on these addictive machines from £100 to £2, bringing them in line with all other British gaming machines.”

“There is mounting empirical and anecdotal evidence that FOBTs are driving the proliferation of betting shops, contributing to problem gambling, causing crime and violence in local communities, impacting on the working conditions of betting shop staff and being used for criminal activities such as money laundering.” (more…)

Gambling: No change in roulette machine stakes

Posted on October 10, 2013 by admin

Gamblers will continue to be able to bet up to £100 a spin on electronic roulette machines in bookmakers’ shops, the government has confirmed.

Ministers acknowledged concerns that fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) can cause addiction and even violence.

But the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said it wanted to protect gambling industry jobs and profits

Read the full article on The BBC online.

Paddy Power Are Exploiting Some of London’s Most Impoverished Communities

Posted on October 10, 2013 by admin

Apparently, there was a time when betting shops weren’t the eternal roundabouts of despair and futility that they are today. At one point, they supposedly resembled something more celebratory – like the stands at the races without all the fascinators and more emphysema. Racing pundit, reality star and redundant misogynist John McCririck remembers the day bookies were first legalised in 1961: “It was glorious bedlam, packed out with punters shouting their horses home,” he recalled a few years ago. “The place was filled with cigarette smoke, but that day a breeze of fresh air wafted into the lives of British punters.”

Read the full article in The Vice online

Bookmaker Coral rebuked by regulator over money launderer

Posted on October 8, 2013 by admin

Shops owned by one of Britain’s biggest high street bookmakers were used to launder almost a million pounds of money linked to drug dealing, the gambling regulator announced on Monday.

In a rare admission that betting shops could be used to conceal the source of ill-gotten gains, the Gambling Commission said Coral would have to pay back the £90,000 it made from a single customer who visited shops in north-east England. The man in his 30s, who cannot be named while he is waiting to be sentenced, was charged by police in Durham as part of a campaign against organised crime.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.

Gambling Addict Likens Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals To Crack Cocaine

Posted on October 4, 2013 by admin

Earlier this week, BBC One East Midlands broadcasted a documentary-style programme called Inside Out that told the story of Roger Radler, a gambling addict from High Wycombe. Radler lost his job and wife and is now burdened with substantial debts after becoming addicted Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, or FOBTs as they name is abbreviated to.

“It’s the crack cocaine of the gambling industry,” claimed Radler, “You can get your high every 15 seconds and you are losing huge sums of money. At my worst, I probably lost a month’s salary in a couple of hours and that’s horrendous.”

Read the full article on the Poker News website online.

Garry Owen: Sad punters are getting FOBT-ed off with betting terminals

Posted on October 4, 2013 by admin

CONSERVATIVE MP Iain Macleod was the first punter to refer to the “nanny state” back in December, 1965 before the term became a favourite of Margaret Thatcher during her reign in Downing Street.

Now I’m no blue-blooded right-winger and I’d prefer a decent kip to UKIP, but I’d like to raise a few points about “nannying” with my two favourite hobbies, gambling and drinking.

Fixed odds betting terminals, FOBTs or puggies to you and I, have become a fixture in bookies’ shops like the auld Extel box used to be in the corner above the board marker.

As a punter who will bet on everything from horseracing to boxing and NFL to Scottish football (though not against my own team), I’ve no time for puggies in bookies. I’d gladly melt them all down and build a new hoose for John McCririck.

Read the full article in The Daily Record online.

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.