The Campaign for Fairer Gambling has today announced that Adrian Parkinson, a former Regional Gaming Manager, will be joining its campaign against Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs). The betting industry whistle blower, who featured on the recent Panorama programme on gambling, will take up a consultancy position alongside Matt Zarb-Cousin, a reformed gambling addict and campaign founder, Derek Webb.
Adrian who was responsible for FOBTs for nearly 10 years and was involved in the early testing of the machines, spoke out on Panorama’s “Gambling Nation”- about the addictive nature of FOBT game content.
Adrian said: “I have been increasingly uncomfortable about FOBT game content and the impact their explosion on UK high streets is having. By joining the Campaign for Fairer Gambling I believe I can lend my expertise and knowledge to help raise awareness amongst media, politicians and the public as to how serious this problem is and how a £2 stake cap is the only way to curb the problem. I have met and spoke with Derek Webb who founded the Campaign, over the last three months and have been deeply impressed with his understanding of the problems and his commitment to finding the solutions.”
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee (DCMS) earlier this year proposed lifting the limit on machines in betting shops, putting forward the argument that there was no evidence of related gambling addiction. This recommendation was based on evidence garnered from one UK betting shop visit and a trip to Australia and Macau.
Adrian said: “The bookmaking industry has a very powerful and well financed lobby around Parliament and the media. For the last 10 years they have succesfully manipulated Politicians and the media into believing gaming machines are a legitimate product offering in licensed betting offices with little negative social impact. This is quite simply not the case. Now we have the All Party Betting and Gaming Committee, Co-Chaired by DCMS Select Committe member Philip Davies complaining about the Campaign for Fairer Gambling media advertisements aimed at raising awareness of this issue. This really angers me because they are trying to stifle legitimate debate about something that is causing real problems in the most deprived communties in the UK.”
“The DCMS and now the All Party Betting and Gaming Committee seem to want to ignore the crime and disorder these machines have brought onto our high streets, as well as ignoring the addictive nature of electronic roulette through high speed, high stake play style.” Said Adrian.
Adrian has now sacrificed his 24 year career in the bookmaking industry to pursue the objectives of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling which includes a stake cap of £2 per spin; a reduction in number of terminals per shop to one; removal of casino game content and an increase in the time per spin.
Adrian joins the Campaign for Fairer Gambling only months after Matt Zarb-Cousin was recruited to drive its recommendations for limiting the social and economic damage of FOBTs. Matt, a former FOBT addict who lost over £16,000 before he was 22, alongside Adrian and the rest of the Campaign team will continue their efforts to expose the truth about FOBTs and continually challenge claims from the Association of British Bookmakers, the Gambling Commission and the DCMS that there is “no evidence” that FOBTs can be linked to problem gambling.
Derek Webb, founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, said: “With both Adrian and Matt on board, our campaign is significantly gathering pace and we will continue in our efforts to make Goverment, the media and the general public sit up and take notice of FOBTs and the damage they cause to our society.”
About the Campaign for Fairer Gambling
Set up by Prime Table Games (PTG) founder, Derek Webb – successful poker player, businessman and the inventor of Three Card Poker – a game played world-wide on casinos tables – the overall aim of our campaign is to change or tighten gambling regulation to make it fairer.
www.fairergambling .org was founded by Derek Webb, a partner in Prime Table Games (PTG) and is funded by PTG. Derek was a successful poker player, businessman and the inventor of Three Card Poker. This game is played worldwide on casino tables.
PTG are experts in understanding gambling game content. PTG created over 30 granted US patents related to original gambling games and has prevailed in complex US federal litigation related to gambling games, intellectual property and anti-trust issues, prior to an asset sale to a US public company.
PTG retained only one asset, PTG Poker, which is not being actively marketed at this time. It is an improvement of player v player poker.
Rachael van Oudheusden/Lucy Knighton/Sam Metcalf
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