Gambling Addiction

Labour promises to let councils ban fixed-odds betting terminals

Posted on December 20, 2013 by admin

Labour would empower local councils to ban fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from high streets, Ed Miliband has confirmed.

The Labour leader claimed the FOBTs, which let gamblers bet £300 a minute or £18,000 an hour, were being targeted at poor people.

Councils would be given a range of powers including stopping the spread of FOBTs, reducing their number or banning them altogether. On a visit to Kilburn in north London, Miliband said: “In towns and cities across Britain today, you can see how the old bookies are being turned into mini casinos. In the poorest areas, these are spreading like an epidemic along high streets with the pawn shops and payday lenders that are becoming symbols of Britain’s cost-of-living crisis.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.

Rise of the machines puts punters at bigger risk, says Simon Perfitt

Posted on December 16, 2013 by admin

On the surface Simon Perfitt had it all. Barely a decade ago the 47-year-old divorcee had moved in with a new girlfriend, drove a Porsche and took lucrative posts in e-commerce where pay deals were sweetened by corporate perks such as free housing.

But Perfitt led a double life. He did not earn money to build a better life but instead used it to feed a gambling addiction to bookmakers’ betting terminals. His cravings saw him lose not only his relationship but left him homeless and facing personal ruin after pouring, he says, £200,000 into the machines.

Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which offer high-stakes, high-speed casino games such as roulette, were dubbed the “crack cocaine of gambling” almost the day they arrived in Britain. Solitary, uninterrupted machine play, it was claimed, produced a trance-like state, not dissimilar to that experienced by a drug addict.

Simon Perfitt, who lost everything after gambling away £200,000, tells his story in full to the Guardian.

Suspect in court over Morden betting shop murder

Posted on August 29, 2013 by admin

A 21-year-old man charged with the murder of a Ladbrokes betting shop manager appeared at Southwark Crown Court last week.

Homeless Shafique Ahmad Aarij was due to enter a plea but the hearing was adjourned until Wednesday September 25.

He is accused of murdering Andrew Iacovou, 55, in the Aberconway Road shop, Morden, on Saturday May 25.

Read the full article on SW Londoner online.