News & views


Posted on April 10, 2013 by admin

A consultation on highly addictive betting machines, known as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’, ends today.

The machines have flourished in high street betting shops following Labour’s liberalisation of gambling laws.

Many critics say the machines are a key factor in the explosion in problem gamblers, particularly among the poor.

Read the full story on The Christian Institute online.

Boom in bookies may be about to end with threat of jackpot cap on slot machines described as ‘crack cocaine of gambling’

Posted on April 8, 2013 by admin

The Grand National may be Britain’s most popular flutter, but the boom in bookies may be about to end at the next hurdle with the threat of a jackpot cap on slot machines described as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’.

The B2 fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) allow gamblers to stake high sums of cash for the chance of big prizes.

But a Government consultation due to close on Tuesday is threatening to cap prizes at £100 instead of the current £500.

Supporters of the cap say it will help to stem the tide of problem gambling.

Read the full story on This is Money online.

Losers – and winners Lucy Care expresses her feelings about FOBTs through her blog

Posted on March 25, 2013 by admin

Lucy Care shares with readers a story of a negative gambling experience in her childhood, which shaped the way she feels about FOBTs and gambling in general.

Read Lucy’s story on her blog

Plan for second betting shop meets opposition

Posted on March 21, 2013 by admin

EARLY OPPOSITION has emerged to a betting firm’s Forfar plans to set up a second shop within two furlongs of its existing town centre premises.

Bookies firm Coral Racing Ltd has made a bid to open an additional store at the vacant former Happit site at 13-15 Castle Street, a mere five minute walk (or a good drive and short wedge from Bubba Watson) from the existing shop on the town’s East High Street.

However, last night the odds were already stacking up against the company, with one local elected member describing the application for a second shop as “nonsense.”

Read the full story on The Courier online 

SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Anguish behind lucrative bookies’ high-tech facade as female staff left to fend for themselves

Posted on March 20, 2013 by admin

Once they were smoky, spit-and-sawdust establishments where old men shuffled in to put a pound on a nag in the 3.15 at Towcester.

Today they have become high-tech, glass-fronted retail outlets where traditional over-the-counter sports betting has taken second place to the highly attractive – some might say addictive – betting machines, which rake in millions of pounds a year for the major bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betfred and Gala Coral.

But as bookies seek to capitalise on the inexorable rise of the machines, it is the shop staff who say they are suffering from the drive for greater cost-savings and longer opening hours to fuel the growing obsession with the fixed-odd betting machines.

Read the full story on This Is Money Online

MP apologises for code breach over Cheltenham trip

Posted on March 19, 2013 by admin

A Tory MP has apologised for breaching the parliamentary code after the Commons watchdog concluded he should have declared hundreds of pounds of hospitality from Britain’s biggest bookmaker during a contentious year-long inquiry into the betting trade, when he asked questions about gambling and before securing debates on the issue.

Philip Davies, a prominent member of the culture, media and sport select committee, recorded in the register of MPs’ interests that in March 2011 he was taken to the Cheltenham festival – a trip worth £870 – as a guest of the bookmaker Ladbrokes.

Read the full story on The Guardian Online

High-stakes bid to halt roulette machines at bookies

Posted on March 18, 2013 by admin

A campaign has been launched to halt a surge in city centre roulette machines – dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling.

Bookies have been accused of by-passing legislation to flood Manchester with dangerously addictive games. The city currently has nearly 500 fixed odds betting terminals – stand-alone machines capable of taking up to £18,000 an hour.

Campaigners want the government to tighten up the rules – and the council to challenge new applications.

An application for the city centre’s 25th bookmaker, a William Hill on Deansgate, is due to be considered by licensing chiefs in the coming weeks. City centre councillor Kevin Peel – who is leading the campaign – said: “Bookies are getting round the rules laid out in the Gambling Act in order to install more of these fixed odds betting terminals – dubbed the crack cocaine of gambling due to their addictive nature.

“I say enough is enough. I am not anti-gambling or anti-bookies – I just think they should be betting shops, not mini-casinos.”

Read the full story in the Manchester Evening News online. 

Not since the 1980s have our leaders so cruelly bullied the poor

Posted on March 14, 2013 by admin

If only Cristina de Kirchner of Argentina had the wit to ignore the islanders’ plebiscite and take the Falklands by force, we could really start to party like it’s 1982.

The sense of déjà vu is quite strong enough as it is, with a deeply disliked Tory-led administration increasingly riven by internecine scraps; an unpopular Prime Minister insisting there is no alternative; and now the Christian soldiers of Anglicanism marching as to war with a cruel and callous Government. Lob an insanely archaic South Atlantic conflict into the pot, and the back-to-the-future stink would make you gag.

Read full story on The Independent online

I blew my fiancee’s £12,000 on ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machines

Posted on March 14, 2013 by admin

Warning as footie ace confesses all

A YOUNG footballer who blew £12,000 of his bride-to-be’s savings on gambling has told how he did it to try to fund their new home and a dream wedding.

Rising star Kris Newby thought he had beaten his betting addiction after seeking help when he lost his job for having a flutter at work.

But the 25-year-old began gambling again in a desperate attempt to please girlfriend Lacey Maclean.

Instead he found himself in spiralling debt and began pinching money from his unsuspecting fiancée to try to make up losses.

Read the full story on The Sun online 

Mail Online: …footballer took £12,000 to feed gambling habit

Posted on March 13, 2013 by admin

After a fairytale proposal, Lacey Maclean couldn’t wait to tell the world her good news.

‘Most perfect moment ever … Can’t wait to be Mrs Newby’, the 23-year-old wrote on Twitter, posting a photograph of her footballer fiance Kris Newby down on one knee.

Two months on, she took to the social networking site again – with some rather different news.

Read full story on the Mail Online