Gambling Enquiry

Internel hits back at gambling industry body criticism after parliamentary watchdog finds transparency breaches

Posted on May 5, 2017 by admin

The public affairs firm Interel has accused a gambling industry body of overreacting in its response to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards’ finding that a parliamentary group the agency works for had breached transparency rules.

Read the full story in PR Week.

Church of England calls for maximum £2 stake on betting terminals

Posted on February 20, 2017 by admin

The church’s national body unanimously passed a motion urging the government to bring forward proposals to reduce the amount gamblers can stake on a single game from £100 to £2.

Around 35,000 fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), or B2 machines, are found in betting shops across the UK, on which gamblers can stake a maximum of £2 for sports-based games.

But the church’s General Synod in London was told casino games such as roulette available on FOBTs allow a stake of up to £100 every 20 seconds – allowing a player to theoretically gamble away £18,000 an hour.

Read the full story in the Daily Express

Church of England urges government to lower maximum FOBT stake to £2

Posted on February 16, 2017 by admin

The Church of England has waded into the ongoing debate over fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in the UK, calling on the government to lower the maximum stake for games to £2.

The General Synod, the legislative body of the Church, highlighted the “destructive impact” which accessible, high-stake machine gambling can have on families and whole communities, and the “widespread public concern” about the very large amounts being wagered at FOBTs located in high street betting shops.

Read the full story on Gaming Intelligence


Church wants £2 maximum stake on betting terminals

Posted on February 15, 2017 by admin

The Church of England is today set to back a call to lower the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to as little as £2.

In a co-ordinated campaign against the machines known as gambling’s “crack cocaine”, the London Diocese will move that members of the General Synod lobby the government to cut the maximum stake on the betting terminals “very substantially”.

Read the full story in The Times

General Synod demands government reduce top spend on betting machines

Posted on February 15, 2017 by admin

Betting machines that allow people to spend £100 a minute should be tighter regulated and the maximum spend slashed, the Church of England’s ruling body has said.

General Synod decided unanimously to back a motion that calls on the government to impose a top stake of £2 a go.

It was a “matter of urgency” that ministers brought in new laws to regulate the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), the motion said.

Read the full story on Premier

Bookies ending 2016 in a dark place

Posted on December 21, 2016 by admin

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling reviews 2016 and efforts to reduce the impact of fixed odds betting terminals on problem gamblers. (more…)

Reviewing the Gambling Review – Part four – Advertising

Posted on November 23, 2016 by admin

Derek Webb, Campaign for Fairer Gambling founder, continues his analysis of the DCMS review of Gambling Machines and Social Responsibility Measures.


GamblingA fixed odds betting terminal


The old Triennial Review of Gaming Machine Stakes and Prizes  was justified as a tool to address the effect of inflation. This has now been subsumed into the “Review of Gambling Machines and Social Responsibility Measures – Call to Evidence”.

Whilst there was a review of advertising in 2014 this was essentially just an industry, gambling and advertising regulator box-ticking exercise. The Government wanted to ensure that remote operators based offshore paid a point -of-consumption tax (PoC). The tool used to enable this was the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014. This required sites advertising in the UK to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, even if they were based in Gibraltar for example.

Even though the PoC has now been implemented, the bookmakers are still objecting with the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association calling for its members to be exempt from the tax. They are even going through  the Courts to try and overturn the UK Government’s decision. The bookmaker CEOs don’t want to pay tax where they make their profits. They want to profit from gambling harm, pay no tax, but still manage to keep a straight face when they claim to be socially responsible.

Research has shown that one in five CEOs is a psychopath, higher than in the prison population. It is more likely that these people, lacking in empathy for others, are attracted to sectors that engage in immoral and unethical behavior.

Remote gambling sites are unable to find enough new vulnerable victims through remote marketing and so resort to excessive and often unethical TV marketing. Originally affiliates were the major director of traffic to sites. These affiliates got a share of the revenue for introducing losing punters, even though the punter was not informed of that relationship.

Affiliates will recommend remote gambling operators based on the depth of the commercial relationship between them and the site. One of the 2005 Gambling Act licensing objectives is that gambling should be “fair and open”. Affiliate relationships are a serious blemish on that objective.

Bingo got a pre-watershed pass as it was perceived as soft gambling, based on the traditional perception of bricks-and-mortar bingo. However, bingo sites also have casino sites just a click away. So, daytime bingo advertising is used to drive sales in selected casino sites, to the disadvantage of casino sites that do not have an associated bingo site.

Football betting advertising also gets a pass when live football is broadcast pre-watershed. This has the added impact of encouraging gamblers who do not have access to remote accounts to go to betting shops instead and as a result, the new young football bettors are spotted by shop staff and steered towards FOBTs. “Would you like me to show you how to play?” Credits, bonus and tournaments are also all extra tools to get FOBTs sold to novice gamblers, all enabled through football betting advertising on TV.

Remember that these offshore sites have got away with using their tax advantage to market their land based betting shop gambling.

The other main sport for TV advertising is horseracing. Why should the sport of kings be subsidised by losing gamblers though? TV racing broadcasts already include the odds for races and the inane comments of the bookies’ cheerleaders. That alone is all bad enough, particularly when gamblers who are capable of winning are getting their accounts closed and/or bets restricted.

Commercial TV companies, who are always lobbying against the BBC, will be upset with any restrictions on TV advertising. However, DCMS should be more concerned with protecting the BBC than protecting the commercial interest of those who benefit from marketing addictive and potentially harmful gambling.

The 2005 Gambling Act swung the pendulum too far in favour of gambling operators. The backlash against this has been slow to build, but it is now one that Theresa May and her Government know they can no longer ignore.


UK Initiates Fixed Odds Betting Terminal Inquiry

Posted on September 16, 2016 by admin

There has been a great deal of effort made to collect information about the harm to society that the proliferation of fixed-odds betting terminals is responsible for in the United Kingdom. The need for information that parliamentarians can understand regarding the issues surrounding the use of the controversial machines has become a priority for the U.K. Culture Secretary John Whittingdale.

Now UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said the government will initiate an inquiry into the issues surrounding fixed-odds betting terminals. The ability to wager up to £100 (€118/$132) per time on the machines has sparked the most criticism from the public.

 Read the full story on

BBC Breakfast 6th April 2016

Posted on April 13, 2016 by admin

Gambling addict Tony Franklin was allowed to lose £3,500 in under one hour on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. Despite new regulations, and claims from the Association of British Bookmakers that they have trained staff to recognise ‘problem gambling’, he says he has never had any intervention.

Watch again at 8 min 50 secs

£5 billion gambled on betting shop roulette machines across the Midlands

Posted on September 25, 2013 by admin

Latest estimates of gambling on betting shop roulette machines released by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling have shown that across the Midlands region £5 billion was gambled. [1]

With over 1,196 betting shops and 4,373 roulette machines, known as fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), the Midlands is estimated to have contributed £165 million to the betting industry’s £1.5 billion profits from FOBTs, 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. (more…)