Gambling Addiction

Time to prevent households being sucked into poverty by FOBTs

Posted on February 3, 2016 by admin

A letter from MP Frank Field in response to David Cameron’s former speechwriter, Clare Foges’ recent opinion piece in The Times:

Dear Sir,

Clare Foges rightly draws attention to the havoc that gambling can wreak on mainly poorer households’ budgets (Tories must rage against the betting machine, 25 January). It isn’t one of the main drivers of household poverty, but where poverty does exist gambling almost certainly compounds it.  (more…)

Govt must not ‘turn blind eye’ to ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling

Posted on February 3, 2016 by admin

David Cameron’s former speechwriter has sparked calls for the Government to act over highly addictive gambling machines.

Writing in The Times, Clare Foges warned that “big business” is “profiteering on the vulnerable poor” through Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

Read the full story in The Christian Institute

FOBTs are leading to more and more violence in betting shops

Posted on January 28, 2016 by admin

Betting shop staff tell the BBC 5 Live team about how Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are leading to more and more violence in betting shops.

One such betting shop worker, Margaret, shares the horrifying tale of how a FOBT user became very aggressive towards her and spat at her after flying into a rage whilst using an addictive FOBT machine.

Campaign Consultant, Matt Zarb-Cousin joins the 5 Live Daily Show to share his story of FOBT addiction and to discuss betting shop violence as a result of the rise of the FOBTs.

Listen again to the whole feature on BBC iPlayer (at 8 mins 19 secs)

‘Crack cocaine’ gambling machines make £1,000 a week: Profits on fixed odds terminals said to have rocketed in the past year

Posted on January 27, 2016 by admin

Profits on highly addictive gambling machines have rocketed over the past year, it emerged yesterday. 

Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) have caused untold misery by allowing users to stake £100 a time on games including roulette and poker.

They are so addictive they have become known as the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling.

Read more in the Daily Mail

We DID get it wrong on crack cocaine gambling machines, admits Tessa Jowell

Posted on January 27, 2016 by admin

Labour’s former culture secretary has admitted that her reforms led to a free-for-all of ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machines on high streets.

Tessa Jowell was in post when fixed-odds betting terminals were introduced in 2001, and four years later she brought in laws to regulate them.

The terminals allow users to stake £100 a time on games including blackjack, roulette and poker. They are so addictive they have become known as the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling.

Read more in the Daily Mail

Tories must rage against the betting machine

Posted on January 25, 2016 by admin

An opinion piece from David Cameron’s former speech writer, Clare Foges.

If Cameron wants to help gambling addicts he has to curb a free market that is wreaking havoc.

At a long-ago Davos gathering, David Cameron said this about the modern Conservative party and its relationship to the free market: “If markets, and capitalism, and the activities of individual businesses conflict with our vision of the good society… we must not sit there and take it, going along with the old orthodoxy that nothing should be allowed to impede the pursuit of profit. We must speak out.”

I remembered those words last week when reading of a case in Snaresbrook crown court. A 71-year-old man pleaded guilty to damaging seven fixed-odds betting terminals (or FOBTs) with a kitchen knife.

Read the full article in The Times

The Crack Cocaine of Gambling

Posted on January 21, 2016 by admin

Afshin Rattansi goes underground on DAVOS and discusses gambling and the week’s news.

Wimbledon may be rigged by gambling syndicates, but why is David Cameron continuing to encourage Britain’s most vulnerable to bet their social security away? Afshin Rattansi speaks to Labour MP Carolyn Harris to hear her views on FOBTs.

Watch again on (at 19 mins 15 secs)

Matt Zarb-Cousin appears on Sunday Politics South East

Posted on January 18, 2016 by admin

Campaign Consultant Matt Zarb-Cousin discusses the impact of gambling addiction and FOBTs on the Sunday Politics Show.

Watch the full interview on BBC iPlayer (at 51 mins 25 seconds)

Chair of leading UK gambling charity announces retirement

Posted on January 18, 2016 by admin

The chair of the UK’s leading charity that aims to minimise gambling addiction, who also lobbied on behalf of Britain’s bookmakers, has announced his retirement.

Neil Goulden issued a statement saying he will retire from his role as a trustee and chair of the Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT), which is the country’s most influential voice on gambling-related harm.

However the RGT has been taken to task for being too close to the industry. Critics say the way the RGT is funded – through donations from the gambling industry – already raises questions about the independence of its research programme.

Read the full the story in the Guardian.

Gambling Nearly Killed Me

Posted on December 15, 2015 by admin

Olly meets Matt Zarb-Cousin, whose first bet at the age of 16 lead to a cycle of addiction that saw him flutter away over £10,000 in the bookies before his 20th birthday. He frankly confronts the nature of addiction, the changing face of the British high street and how a life can fall apart when the stakes are raised.

Listen to the full interview 12.32 mins in at The Modern Mann .