News & views

FORUM: ‘Reject the crack cocaine of gambling…’

Posted on February 12, 2016 by admin

Camden Council were absolutely right to reject Paddy Power’s application for yet another betting shop in the borough.

More betting shops means more Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), the highly addictive roulette machines that have been labelled “the crack cocaine of gambling”. In 2015, more than £96m was put into the 289 FOBTs in Camden’s 80 betting shops, netting a ­profit for the bookmakers of more than £18m from the machines alone.

Read the full story in the Camden New Journal.

What are the odds on that?

Posted on February 9, 2016 by admin

Residents’ fury as London high street dubbed ‘The Strip’ has EIGHT betting shops and four gambling arcades – with another bookies on the way.

This mile-long stretch of high street has so many betting shops and gambling arcades it is now nicknamed Britain’s ‘mini Las Vegas’ – and incredibly one bookmaker has plans for another new branch.

The short stretch of Kilburn High Road is known locally as ‘The Strip’ because it has eight bookmakers and four casino-style shops serving one of the capital’s most deprived areas.

Read the full story in the Daily Mail

Theaine of gambling’ machines street where £2.8MILLION was lost in a year on ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ machines

Posted on February 8, 2016 by admin

Temptation is never far away for gamblers on this normal looking street.

At first glance there’s nothing strange about this pedestrianised road in West London.

But stroll along Hounslow High Street and you see its ­problem – the number of betting shops.

There are 11 and last year their punters lost more on high stakes gaming machines than in any other street in the UK.

Unable to resist the lure of the highly addictive Fixed Odds Betting Terminals , they kissed goodbye to a ­staggering ­£2.8million on the street’s 44 machines.

Read the full story in the Mirror.

Bookies in battle against EU laws which aim to stop criminals laundering dirty cash

Posted on February 3, 2016 by admin

British betting firms say customer checks on those placing larger bets are not necessary, but a report says gangsters are exploiting the system.

Bookies are fighting new laws that could force them to end ­anonymous ­betting for high-stakes ­gamblers.

The European Commission want to make it more difficult for crooks to ­launder dirty cash through betting shops.

Read the dull story in the Daily Record

Worries ‘crack cocaine’ betting machines could spark anarchy as punters lose £700m in a year

Posted on February 3, 2016 by admin

Campaigners warned last night that “crack cocaine” betting machines could spark anarchy.

It came as figures showed punters lost £700million on them in a year.

There are nearly four roulette, blackjack and poker machines, allowing players to bet up to £100 a spin, for every UK betting shop.

The 34,500 fixed-odds betting terminals have been linked to a rise in crime.

Read the full story in The Sun

FOBTs accused of helping drug syndicates launder dirty money

Posted on February 3, 2016 by admin

Data from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed bookmakers’ suspicion that fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) are being used by criminals to launder drug money.

The UKGC has revealed that bookies filed 633 suspected money laundering operations to the National Crime Agency between April 2014 and March 2015. The data was released in response to a Freedom of Information request for the number of such Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).

Read the full story

Personal choice or nanny state? Our leaders don’t seem to know best

Posted on February 3, 2016 by admin

Fixed-odds betting terminals show how Cameron is just as conflicted as Blair was when it comes to intervening or leaving be.

Read the full story in the Guardian

Jowell acknowledges ineffectiveness in tackling FOBT dangers

Posted on February 3, 2016 by admin

Labour’s former culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, has admitted that the Gambling Act 2005 she introduced whilst in Government failed in its attempt to prevent some of the social harms often attributed to gambling, particularly the potential “crack cocaine” addiction syndrome caused by fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT).

Read more in the Gambling Insider

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…)

Minister who allowed FOBTs calls for government action

Posted on February 3, 2016 by admin

The Minister who allowed and regulated fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in the UK has admitted that more should have been done to limit their numbers.

Tessa Jowell, who was the Culture Secretary when FOBTs were introduced in 2001 and then regulated in the 2005 Gambling Act, wrote a letter to The Times newspaper claiming that she had always made it clear that the machines were “on probation” and should be removed if evidence were amassed that they were promoting harm.

Read the full story on