News & views

Bookmaker let thief bet with elderly couple’s cash

Posted on April 29, 2016 by admin

A major bookmaker has been fined £846,000 for allowing a customer to bet with savings he had stolen from an elderly couple.

The gambling regulator rebuked Gala Coral for allowing Gary Watts, 57, to bet huge sums online and in its shops despite knowing that he was an electrician who lived in a semi-detached house.

The bookmaker, which made profits of £143 million last year, even gave Mr Watts “VIP” status, taking him and his family to hospitality events.

Read the full story in The Times

Has ‘Dark Money’ prevented the proper look into FOBTs promised by David Cameron?

Posted on April 28, 2016 by admin

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling raises questions over right-wing think tanks and asks if they are influencing Government decisions on gambling policy. (more…)

Government refuses to rule out FOBT stake reduction

Posted on April 28, 2016 by admin

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling writes following a parliamentary debate this week on fixed odds betting terminals tabled by Jim Shannon MP. (more…)

Gala Coral pays out £880,000 over gambler who stole to feed habit

Posted on April 27, 2016 by admin

The bookmaker Gala Coral has agreed with the gambling regulator to pay out nearly £880,000 after taking hundreds of thousands of pounds from a “VIP” problem gambler who was using the proceeds of theft to feed his habit.

The Gambling Commission said Gala Coral had failed in its duty to prevent money laundering and problem gambling, adding that its safeguards against both were inadequate.

Read the full story in the Guardian

Campaigners demand tougher rules on high street’s ‘crack cocaine’

Posted on April 26, 2016 by admin


Campaigners are calling for a shake up of high street slot machines to make them a safer bet for gamblers.

They want to see the stakes on lucrative machines including one armed bandits, roulette and bingo dramatically slashed from £100 to £2 to prevent players blowing up to £18,000 in an hour.

The Local Government Association (LGA) claims the machines dubbed “the crack cocaine of gambling” are fleecing addicts who can lose £300 a minute.

Read the full story in the Mirror

‘Crack cocaine’ of gambling damaging vulnerable, MPs say

Posted on April 25, 2016 by admin

Vulnerable people are being hit by the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling, more than eight in ten MPs have said in a new poll.

Members of the House of Commons also called for greater Government regulation on the issue, and said the current £100-a-spin limit is too high.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) mimic casino games such as roulette and are often dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling because of their addictive nature.

Read the full story in The Christian Institute

Mayoral Candidates promise churches they’ll crack down on predatory betting shops

Posted on April 22, 2016 by admin

Fixed-odds betting terminals have led to people gambling thousands of pounds away within minutes.

Zac Goldsmith, Conservative candidate for London mayor, pledged he would back moves for more control over high streets, including regulation to control the proliferation of betting shops in the capital.

Read full the story on The Tablet

Association of British Bookmakers on betting safeguards BBC News

Posted on April 22, 2016 by admin

High Street betting shops are under threat according to their lobbying group, but there are more dangerous places for those with gambling problems.

In a personal film for the Daily Politics, Malcolm George from the Association of British Bookmakers claimed bookmakers’ shops were the safest place to make a bet, as there were safeguards with trained staff.

But he said they were closing at the rate of one a day, with some of the blame on “regulation, taxes and myth-spinning”.

Watch the full BBC Politics feature on YouTube

Local risk assessments won’t help address the national risk of FOBTs

Posted on April 22, 2016 by admin

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling writes that local area risk assessments will do nothing to reduce the harm which addiction to machine gambling is causing problem gamblers. (more…)

Calls for ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machines clampdown as MPs demand tougher regulations

Posted on April 21, 2016 by admin

More than two thirds of MPs want tougher regulations as pressure mounts on Ministers to act.

Ministers came under fresh pressure to clamp down on high-stakes gaming machineswith a poll showing the vast majority of MPs believe they are damaging our high streets.

The ComRes survey found more than two thirds of MPs (72%) – including a majority of Tories - want tougher regulations of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

Read the full story in the Mirror