News & views

Gambling: No change in roulette machine stakes

Posted on October 10, 2013 by admin

Gamblers will continue to be able to bet up to £100 a spin on electronic roulette machines in bookmakers’ shops, the government has confirmed.

Ministers acknowledged concerns that fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) can cause addiction and even violence.

But the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said it wanted to protect gambling industry jobs and profits

Read the full article on The BBC online.

Paddy Power Are Exploiting Some of London’s Most Impoverished Communities

Posted on October 10, 2013 by admin

Apparently, there was a time when betting shops weren’t the eternal roundabouts of despair and futility that they are today. At one point, they supposedly resembled something more celebratory – like the stands at the races without all the fascinators and more emphysema. Racing pundit, reality star and redundant misogynist John McCririck remembers the day bookies were first legalised in 1961: “It was glorious bedlam, packed out with punters shouting their horses home,” he recalled a few years ago. “The place was filled with cigarette smoke, but that day a breeze of fresh air wafted into the lives of British punters.”

Read the full article in The Vice online

A former industry insider’s view on the ABB Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection

Posted on October 9, 2013 by admin

In his days as regional manager at the Tote, Adrian Parkinson, was responsible for introducing FOBTs into betting shops. Now a Campaign Consultant, he shares his expert viewpoint on the latest attempt at self-regulation by the bookmakers.

The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) opens this latest attempt at self-regulation with the claim that it is “the first code of its kind to be published in the world”. This ignores the fact that responsible gambling codes exist in most developed countries which permit legalised gambling, including Australia, America and Canada.  The difference in the UK is that we have permitted the most addictive, high stake casino gaming in easy access areas, such as high streets, with little regard for their impact on players and communities.

Read the full article on The Stop the FOBTs website.

Bookmaker Coral rebuked by regulator over money launderer

Posted on October 8, 2013 by admin

Shops owned by one of Britain’s biggest high street bookmakers were used to launder almost a million pounds of money linked to drug dealing, the gambling regulator announced on Monday.

In a rare admission that betting shops could be used to conceal the source of ill-gotten gains, the Gambling Commission said Coral would have to pay back the £90,000 it made from a single customer who visited shops in north-east England. The man in his 30s, who cannot be named while he is waiting to be sentenced, was charged by police in Durham as part of a campaign against organised crime.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.

£12.2 billion gambled on betting shop roulette machines across London

Posted on October 7, 2013 by admin

The latest estimates of gambling on betting shop roulette machines, released by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, show that across the Greater London region over £12.2 billion was gambled on them. With over 1,836 betting shops and 6,714 roulette machines London is estimated to have contributed £413 million to the betting industry’s £1.5 billion profits from the machines, which have been described as the most addictive gambling product in the UK.

The continuing controversy over the bookmakers’ roulette machines which are currently being reviewed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has resulted in Members of Parliament across the country calling for action, including West Ham MP Lyn Brown who said “very poor areas are saturated with betting shops particularly compared with wealthier areas.

Hackney North MP Diane Abbot said “my concern is that these shops put little back into the community and can take advantage of areas with high levels of unemployment and poverty. They can also cause increased levels of crime including begging, drug crimes and burglaries.”

Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate David Burrowes also led a protest against betting shops in his constituency saying “there are just too many betting shops along Green Lanes. They have reached saturation levels and are diminishing the character of the high street.

Founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling Derek Webb, who will be featuring in a BBC documentary Inside Out, due to be broadcast in London on Monday on 7th October at 7.30pm said: “The proliferation of betting shops on our high streets is fuelled by highly addictive electronic gaming machines, where you can easily lose up to £300 in a minute. These aren’t pub fruit machines; these are high-stake, high-speed, high-risk gaming machines in easily accessible high street locations.”

A recent analysis of the money lost on what are known as Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs) by Landman Economics revealed that across London up to 10,587 jobs could be lost over the next 10 years if spending on the machines continues to rise. It is predicted that player losses could grow to £814 million by 2023 in London alone.

Howard Reed of Landman Economics concluded that “Profits from FOBTs could double in real terms over the next ten years, resulting in a gain of over 11,000 jobs in the betting sector but a loss of almost 33,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy. But he warned “the extent that growth in FOBTs displaces other economic activity which is based on “buying local”, it is likely that growth in FOBTs in the betting sector is likely to have an even more negative impact on the local economy than we have forecast.”

Gambling Addict Likens Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals To Crack Cocaine

Posted on October 4, 2013 by admin

Earlier this week, BBC One East Midlands broadcasted a documentary-style programme called Inside Out that told the story of Roger Radler, a gambling addict from High Wycombe. Radler lost his job and wife and is now burdened with substantial debts after becoming addicted Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, or FOBTs as they name is abbreviated to.

“It’s the crack cocaine of the gambling industry,” claimed Radler, “You can get your high every 15 seconds and you are losing huge sums of money. At my worst, I probably lost a month’s salary in a couple of hours and that’s horrendous.”

Read the full article on the Poker News website online.

Coinslot: Letter to the editor

Posted on October 4, 2013 by admin

Read Derek Webb’s response to a recent Coinslot article here.

Garry Owen: Sad punters are getting FOBT-ed off with betting terminals

Posted on October 4, 2013 by admin

CONSERVATIVE MP Iain Macleod was the first punter to refer to the “nanny state” back in December, 1965 before the term became a favourite of Margaret Thatcher during her reign in Downing Street.

Now I’m no blue-blooded right-winger and I’d prefer a decent kip to UKIP, but I’d like to raise a few points about “nannying” with my two favourite hobbies, gambling and drinking.

Fixed odds betting terminals, FOBTs or puggies to you and I, have become a fixture in bookies’ shops like the auld Extel box used to be in the corner above the board marker.

As a punter who will bet on everything from horseracing to boxing and NFL to Scottish football (though not against my own team), I’ve no time for puggies in bookies. I’d gladly melt them all down and build a new hoose for John McCririck.

Read the full article in The Daily Record online.

BBC Radio Stoke: Derek Webb discusses the impact of FOBTs

Posted on October 1, 2013 by admin

Listen to Campaign founder Derek Webb’s radio interview with BBC Radio Stoke’s Graham Torrington, as they discusses the impact of fixed odds betting terminals on high streets. Catch up online from 0:29:00.

BBC Three Counties Radio: Derek Webb discusses the impact of FOBTs

Posted on October 1, 2013 by admin

Listen to Derek Webb, founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling and Stop the FOBTs, discuss the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ with Roberto Perrone on BBC Three Counties Radio online – from 1:06:00.