Statement in reaction to Britain’s High Street Gamble: Dispatches
“We have been very disturbed by the number of FOBTs on Britain’s high streets for some time now, and are glad that this devastating issue is finally starting to get the attention it deserves from the media and politicians.
“However, there is still a very long road ahead. FOBTs are founded upon highly addictive content, and as Dispatches revealed last night, their positioning within areas of low income is the perfect recipe for problem gambling. Unfortunately, the influx of FOBTs in our towns is showing no sign of letting up – with bookmakers now outnumbering chemists and newsagents on our High Streets.
“Assertions from the DCMS that the Government will not change laws until they receive solid evidence of the side effects of FOBTs are also very worrying. The National Health Service Clinic run by Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones showed in a 2010 report that over 60% of problem gambles gambled on FOBTs. How much more evidence do they need?
“FOBTs gamblers are losing £30 per hour, an average of around £1,000 per gambler per year, with many gamblers losing far more. The Government already has adequate evidence of FOBT addiction, now they just need to act upon it before more lives are ruined.”
Derek Webb, Campaign for Fairer Gambling