News & views

Limit ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machine bets to £2, say councils

Posted on November 25, 2014 by admin

Betting shops could be forced to radically cut the amount of money that can be gambled on controversial Fixed Odds Betting Machines (FOBTs), according to proposal set to be put forward by local councils this week.

The Independent can reveal that Newham council in east London is set to lead 80 councils in a campaign which aims to force Government to step in to reduce the stakes at which gamblers can play the machines, which have been labelled the “crack cocaine of gambling”.

Read the full article in The Independent online.

Opinion: Why online gambling leaves us all worse off

Posted on November 19, 2014 by admin

Millions have benefited from lottery funds but newer types of gambling are creating a generation of addicts

Twenty years ago when the national lottery was first set up I had a Hogarthian vision of the poor holding sodden lottery tickets in the shadow of the Royal Opera House, throwing away everything on a few random numbers while the rich revelled in yet more revivals of The Ring. I thought this was a pernicious, surreptitious new tax on the poor and would lead them to gamble their lives away, encouraged by a grinning Noel Edmonds and Anthea Turner. How wrong I was.

Read the full opinion article in The Times Online.

Premier League clubs warned over ‘unlicensed’ overseas betting deals

Posted on November 18, 2014 by admin

The national gambling regulator has warned the Football Association about the dangers of sponsorship deals between Premier League clubs and unlicensed overseas gambling firms, in a move that could cost the league as much as £90m a year in sponsorship revenue.

The warning from the Gambling Commission comes as it emerged that a three-year, “multimillion pound” deal between Arsenal and gambling firm Bodog may be called into question after  it emerged the Canada-based firm did not have the licence to advertise to British gamblers.

Read the full article in the Independent online.

UK bookmakers criticised over betting machine measures

Posted on November 4, 2014 by admin

Bookmakers have made another stab at protecting punters from the potential dangers of betting machines. But critics say it is a halfhearted attempt that proves they are not serious about tackling problem gambling.

Punters will be required, from January, to press a button when they start using the machines asking whether or not they wish to set time and money limits. Those who decline will find their machines set to an alert automatically informing them when they have played for 30 minutes and when their losses have reached £250.

The machines have been dubbed the “crack cocaine of gambling” because of their speed of play and high stakes.

Read the full article in The Financial Times online.

Bookmakers promise compulsory limits to ease concerns over ‘crack cocaine’ gaming machines

Posted on November 3, 2014 by admin

Britain’s £2.3 billion bookmaking industry is bowing to concerns over controversial “crack cocaine” gaming machines by introducing compulsory limits on the amount of time and money players can lose before they are forced to take a break.

Under radical new measures to be announced today , customers using fixed-odds electronic gaming machines in high street betting shops, which have been dubbed the “crack cocaine of gambling” by campaigners, will have to make a choice over whether they set their own monetary or time limits.

If they fail to do so, they will for the first time be forced to take a break when they have been playing for 30 minutes or if their losses reach £250.

Read the full article in The Daily Telegraph online.

Bid to halt growth of betting shops

Posted on October 27, 2014 by admin

THE growth of betting shops and payday lenders faces new curbs by Christmas, with the campaign against their proliferation taking a major step forward.

Glasgow City Council, which has been at the vanguard of advocating new planning laws forcing bookies to seek consent for new outlets, has backed ministerial proposals to hand councils new powers to deal with the issue.

The local authority is campaigning against clusters of betting shops and pay day lenders, and their impact on poverty has already sparked Government moves to change the law.

Read the full article the Herald Scotland online.

Glasgow has more payday loan firms and bookies than anywhere else in Britain

Posted on October 13, 2014 by admin

GLASGOW is both the payday loan and betting shop capital of Britain, we can reveal.

Scotland’s largest city has the highest number of quick cash shops and bookies in any council area in the country, according to research.

Campaigners have warned of a “worrying combination” of money lenders sitting side by side with bookies on high streets across the country.

Read more in the Daily Record.

Liberal Democrats back campaign to scrap high stakes gambling machines

Posted on October 13, 2014 by admin

Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats are ­backing the Sunday People’s ­campaign to curb addictive high stakes gaming ­machines.

In another move away from the Conservatives, the party have joined us in demanding a £2 maximum stake.

They agree that fixed odds ­betting terminals (FOBTs) can wreck lives by swallowing up to £100 in 20 seconds on ­machine versions of casino games such as roulette, the Sunday People can reveal.


Grandson, 10, spent £3,300 in online gambling spree

Posted on October 13, 2014 by admin

A 10-year-old ran up a £3,300 bill on a betting website – thinking he was playing a computer game.

The autistic youngster squandered the whopping sum in just 90 minutes, after gaining access to grandad Rick Powell’s online bookmaker’s account.

But the firm involved, gambling giant Bet365, is refusing to refund the four-figure sum.

Read more in the Sunday Post.

We must be alive to risks gambling poses to punters and their families

Posted on October 6, 2014 by admin

The then Labour Government’s Gambling Act(2005) gave a green light to private-enterprise gambling companies.

In particular, it allowed them to install many more gaming machines – fixed-odds betting terminals – where punters can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds.

We must all have noticed the growth in the number of bookmakers. Last year, Scottish bookies made profits of £122 million. Some 70 per cent of Scots have gambled in the past year: three million people. The Government gains from taxes on the firms.

Read the full article in The Herald Scotland online