News & views

Hamilton MP Tom Greatrex Christmas column: Gambling

Posted on January 2, 2014 by admin

Earlier this year, I spent some time with Hamilton Gamblers Anonymous and what struck me was the extent to which of those who had admitted their problem with a gambling addiction, more and more were as a result of fixed odds betting terminals, which are in the High Street bookmakers throughout Scotland.

Read the full article in The Daily Record online.

No quick fix for nation’s gambling addiction

Posted on January 2, 2014 by admin

We’ve all said it.

When I win the lottery … Of course, most of us know that winning the lottery is about as likely as being hit by lightning. But that doesn’t stop us fantasising about it, especially at this time of year when budgets have been squeezed tight by Christmas. The government makes a lot of amount of money from this “tax on the stupid” as it has been called. Britain’s success at the Olympic Games was largely built on lottery cash.

The downside is that, since the National Lottery was first established in 1994, gambling has become part of the fabric of everyday life. And more and more of us are becoming addicted to it. The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lorna Hood, has warned in her New Year message that this is because gambling is now “cool and normalised” – the stigma has gone. Along with pay-day loans, betting is making a significant contribution to the debt crisis faced by thousands of Scottish families.

Read the full article in The Herald online.

Glasgow gamblers spend over £800m per year on FOBTs

Posted on December 24, 2013 by admin

Gamblers in the Scottish city of Glasgow spent over £800 million (€956.1 million/$1.3 billion) on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) over the past year.

According to the Herald newspaper, a total of £1,400 in bets per capita was played on FOBTs in Scotland’s biggest city in 2011-12.

In addition, new figures also showed a 20% rise in the amount of betting shops since gaming laws were loosened in 2005.

Read the full article in i Gaming Business online.

Ed Miliband declares war on ‘crack cocaine’ gaming machines that allow punters to gamble £300 a minute

Posted on December 23, 2013 by admin

David Cameron was under increasing pressure to stop the spread of fixed-odds betting terminals last night.

Labour leader Ed Miliband announced plans to give councils the power to ban the gambling machines, which have been dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of the high street’.

Mr Miliband admitted Labour, which allowed the creation of the machines in the 2005 Gambling Act, had ‘changed our mind’, following widespread concern that the machines are addictive for problem gamblers.

Read the full article in The Daily Mail online.

Ed Miliband urged to cut maximum bets on casino machines if Labour wins election

Posted on December 23, 2013 by admin

Ed Miliband is being pressed to slash the maximum bet on high stakes gambling machines from £100 to £2 should he ­become Prime Minister.

The call came as figures show punters are spending nearly £500million more this year on the terminals dubbed gambling’s crack cocaine than in 2009.

The Labour leader pledged new powers for councils to control the number of fixed odds betting terminals in bookies in their area.

Read the full article in The Mirror online.

Ed Miliband to give councils power to ban high-stakes roulette machines

Posted on December 23, 2013 by admin

Labour would give councils power to ban roulette machines

Councils could get the power to ban high-stakes roulette machines from betting shops if Labour wins the next election, according to the leader Ed Miliband.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.

Ed Miliband promises crackdown on betting shop ‘epidemic’

Posted on December 20, 2013 by admin

Ed Miliband will widen his attack on “predatory” capitalism on Friday by promising new laws to control the spread of bookmaking shops and betting machines.

Read the full article in The Financial Times online.

Ed Miliband: Roulette machines ’cause debt and misery’

Posted on December 20, 2013 by admin

Ed Miliband says fixed odds betting machines are behind a “gambling epidemic” in parts of the country.

The Labour leader vowed to give councils the power to ban the machines from bookmakers’ shops if his party wins the next election.

He said: “It causes debt and misery for families and is a magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Watch the video on BBC News online.

Labour promises to let councils ban fixed-odds betting terminals

Posted on December 20, 2013 by admin

Labour would empower local councils to ban fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from high streets, Ed Miliband has confirmed.

The Labour leader claimed the FOBTs, which let gamblers bet £300 a minute or £18,000 an hour, were being targeted at poor people.

Councils would be given a range of powers including stopping the spread of FOBTs, reducing their number or banning them altogether. On a visit to Kilburn in north London, Miliband said: “In towns and cities across Britain today, you can see how the old bookies are being turned into mini casinos. In the poorest areas, these are spreading like an epidemic along high streets with the pawn shops and payday lenders that are becoming symbols of Britain’s cost-of-living crisis.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.

Ed Miliband declares war on ‘crack cocaine’ gaming machines that allow punters to gamble £300 a minute

Posted on December 20, 2013 by admin

A new generation of high stakes gaming machines has turned traditional bookmakers on every high street ‘into mini-casinos’, Ed Miliband will warn today.

The Labour leader will set out plans to rid communities of controversial machines which allow punters to gamble up to £300 a minute, or £18,000 an hour.

He will accuse firms of targeting vulnerable people and causing ‘misery’ for millions of families.

Britain’s 33,000 fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), also dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling, have been under increasing scrutiny in recent months.

Read more in the Daily Mail Online.