News & views

Real life gambling story number three – Chris

Posted on January 13, 2017 by admin

Chris’s story is all too-common – childhood holidays in seaside resorts with seemingly innocent family trips to amusement arcades. The lure of the flashing lights and the possibility of winning some money can be irresistible to children, and may also be the start of a life-long gambling habit. This was indeed the case for Chris.

Chris went on to lose £350,000 in the grip of a gambling addiction that lasted over twenty years. This is his story, as told to Sarah Marten at Gambling Watch UK.

Read the full story on the Gambling Watch UK website

Former Culture Secretary calls for probe into “outbreak” of high street betting shops

Posted on January 13, 2017 by admin

A fresh gambling crackdown is needed to tackle the “outbreak” of betting shops on Britain’s high streets, a former Culture Secretary warned today.

Baroness Tessa Jowell called on ministers to look at new regulations to target young punters who try to place bets despite being under 18.

 She wanted curbs to stop children illegally playing machines such as fixed odds betting terminals, dubbed the “crack cocaine” of gambling.
Read the full story in The Mirror

Now even Tessa Jowell – the architect of ‘crack cocaine’ gambling – demands a new clampdown on addictive game machines

Posted on January 13, 2017 by admin

A former Labour culture secretary has demanded stricter regulation of gambling – despite encouraging betting when she was in power.

Tessa Jowell brought in controversial reforms in 2005 blamed for allowing a free-for-all of fixed-odds betting terminals – known as the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling – on high streets.

But today, she urged the government to beef up regulation to tackle the ‘outbreak of betting shops’ in town centres, saying it was vital to protect young people.

Read the full story in the Daily Mail

Ladbrokes and Betfred ‘pirating’ content in stand-off with Britain’s main racecourse group

Posted on January 10, 2017 by admin

Thinking of wandering down to your local bookie on Monday to have a flutter? Well if British horseracing attracts you, don’t bother to go to a Ladbrokes/Coral or Betfred shop. As of Monday, they have decided they can make do without pictures from Britain’s biggest racecourse group.

It is, of course, right that if they feel they can make do without Arena Racing’s content from these courses, it is a sensible business decision not to buy it. If they want to turn their backs on racing, they have other products to push, and punters have other betting shops to go to for those races. Assuming they don’t live in Chipping Norton and own a bicycle.

Read the full story in The Telegraph

The Government must take action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Posted on January 6, 2017 by admin

In December, 2016, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals published the interim findings of its investigation into the effects of FOBTs, and made a number of recommendations.

Over the last few years, heart-breaking story after heart-breaking story has been reported, with gamblers losing their savings, marriages, careers and homes as a result of these addictive machines, where thousands of pounds can be lost in a matter of minutes. According to Stop the FOBTs, over £7m has been lost by people gambling on these machines in Bolton in the twelve months leading up to September 2016, of which over £3.7m was lost in my constituency.  The report highlights the need to limit the stake per play on these machines, preferably to a maximum of £2, and also the need to limit the number of FOBTs permitted in individual betting shops.

Read the full story on MP Yasmin Qureshi’s blog 

Gambling firms charmed MPs ahead of betting review in 2016

Posted on January 4, 2017 by admin

Gambling firms staged a charm offensive during 2016, spending more money on adverts and stepping up the hospitality they offer MPs, who are considering a regulatory crackdown.

The industry has come under the spotlight amid concern about its commitment to curbing problem gambling and fears about the influence that daytime TV adverts have on children.

The increased scrutiny culminated in a government review of betting firms’ social responsibility, including controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), often dubbed the “crack cocaine” of gambling for their addictive nature.

The parliamentary register of members’ interests, which details the value of gifts and donations received by politicians, reveals that major bookmakers and horse racing firms quadrupled their efforts to entertain MPs ahead of the review.

Read the full story in The Guardian

Bookies ending 2016 in a dark place

Posted on December 22, 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…)

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…)

Motherwell & Wishaw punters lost almost £3.75m on bookies gaming machines

Posted on December 20, 2016 by admin

Latest figures obtained by the Wishaw Press from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling show the cash was lost on 88 fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) across 20 bookmakers in a 12-month period.

Alarming new statistics show Wishaw and Motherwell punters have lost almost £3.75million in bookmakers’ slot machines.

Latest figures obtained by the Wishaw Press from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling show that across the Motherwell and Wishaw UK parliamentary constituency, £3.74million was lost on 88 fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) across 20 bookmakers in a 12-month period.

Read the full story in The Daily Record. 

If the brightest lights shine from the bookies, a community’s in trouble

Posted on December 20, 2016 by admin

Woodgrange Road, an unremarkable high street in the east London suburb of Forest Gate, has known better times and been known for better things. It was once the home to The Upper Cut, a stellar music venue. The Who played there, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix and Nina Simone.

Now the dominant feature along the three-quarters of a mile of Woodgrange Road is its betting shops. Along the promenade of tightly packed premises, five vie for trade: Betfred, Paddy Power, William Hill, JenningsBet and, on the other side of the road, Ladbrokes.

Read the full story in The Guardian.