News & views

Anger over Government ‘failure’ to tackle addictive gaming machines

Posted on August 13, 2013 by admin

Addiction experts have branded them “the crack-cocaine of gambling”.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals invite gamblers to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds.

Medway Council says strict restrictions on maximum stakes are urgently needed, but the Government doesn’t agree. John Ryall spoke to former gambling addict Matt Zarb-Cousin and Medway Council Labour Group Leader Vince Maple.

Watch the full video on ITV Meridian News online.

Campaign for Fairer Gambling statement in response to Daily Mail article

Posted on August 13, 2013 by admin

“In response to the Daily Mail article, which reported a “crackdown” on FOBTs, the Campaign for Fairer Gambling is concerned that the Government’s rhetoric is misleading.

In a newsletter earlier this year, the Association of British Bookmakers boasted of their influence in averting a separate review of FOBTs. Instead, the Government decided to include Category B2, which facilitates £100 stakes on FOBTs, in the Triennial Review of Stakes and Prizes – a mechanism traditionally used to increase either or both in line with inflation.

A stake reduction on FOBTs in the Triennial Review was therefore unlikely, but it has allowed the Government to imply that they have “cracked down” on FOBTs by capping the maximum stake at £100 until 2016. The only responsible course of action would have been to reduce the maximum stake to £2, bringing FOBTs in line with all other Category B gaming machines as a matter of precaution and to comply with the licensing objective of prevention of harm to young and vulnerable persons, until it is determined that FOBTs are not addictive, as all available evidence suggests that they are the most addictive form of gambling.”

Clampdown on the ‘crack cocaine’ gaming machines: Payouts to be capped and punters told how much they are losing

Posted on August 9, 2013 by admin

Slot machines dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of the  gambling world are to have their payouts capped for three years under plans to clamp down on ‘Wild West’ betting practices.

The Mail has learned that a government review will  conclude that until at least 2016 bookmakers cannot put up the stakes or the prizes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), where punters can place bets of  up to £100 a turn.

High street bookies have also been told to draw up a code of  conduct for the casino-style machines which will allow customers to set a limit on how much they are prepared to lose.

Read the full article on The Daily Mail online.

Man wanted for criminal damage after ‘losing his cool’ at bookies

Posted on August 9, 2013 by admin

POLICE need help to identify a man suspected of causing criminal damage in a betting shop.

The suspect is said to have lost his cool at Ladbrokes in West 12 Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush, at around 3.40pm on Thursday, June 30.

Read the full article on Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle online.

£3.1 billion gambled on betting shop roulette machines across Yorkshire

Posted on August 8, 2013 by admin

The latest estimates of gambling on betting shop roulette machines, released by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, show that across the Yorkshire region over £3.1 billion was gambled on them. With over 771 betting shops and 2,819 roulette machines Yorkshire is estimated to have contributed £106 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 Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman who has said: Walking the streets of any town or city in the UK you can’t help but be struck by the prevalence of betting shops on our High Streets. What is less striking to the unfamiliar eye is the proliferation of gaming machines within these shops over the past ten years.

MP Hilary Benn’s Leeds Central constituency tops the Yorkshire region with an estimated £143 million gambled whilst Julian Sturdy MP’s York Outer, with only two betting shops, sees just £8 million gambled on the highly contentious machines.


Scotland: Addictive gambling machines rake in £4.4 billion

Posted on August 6, 2013 by admin

Gamblers in Scotland staked £4.4 billion on high stake machines last year, a rise of over £100 million according to new figures.

The amount of money gambled on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), dubbed the “crack cocaine of gambling”, rose by £176 million. The money staked on the terminals equates to £1,057 per adult in the country.

The statistics came from betting industry data, and were produced by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling. The group warned of a “toxic economy” developing and called for the Government to act.

FOBTs allow people to bet money on virtual versions of games like blackjack and roulette.

Read the full article on The Christian Institute online.

Addicted to gambling: The high street with 18 betting shops

Posted on August 1, 2013 by admin

Reporter Gavin Ramjaun looks at a growing trend on the UK’s high streets – the proliferation of betting shops. He visits the London borough of Newham where the trend is rife, and chats to ex-gambling addicts and charity workers as well as the Association of British Bookmakers to find out more.

Watch the full video on Yahoo online.

Watch the latest feature on gaming machines from Al Jazeera

Posted on July 31, 2013 by admin

Watch the latest feature on gaming machines from Al Jazeera with Matt Zarb- Cousin online.

Don’t ignore safety of betting shop staff

Posted on July 31, 2013 by admin

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling is running the ‘Stop the FOBTs‘ campaign which seeks to restrict the odds on fixed odds betting terminals.

A recent article by Andrew Lyman of William Hill and published by Central Lobby, “Part Truths and Scaremongering“, is riddled with inaccuracies criticising the Campaign for Fairer Gambling. It referred to our letter to MPs on the subject of betting shop staff safety, a letter that was forwarded to industry representatives by Philip Davies MP – someone who has previously been investigated for his links to the betting industry.

The article essentially ignores the very serious content of our letter supporting David Lammy’s Early Day Motion, and which calls for an end to lone staffing in betting shops.

Read the full article on Central Lobby online.

High Stakes Battle for High Street Bookies

Posted on July 31, 2013 by admin

Bookmakers across Britain are joining forces to combat the scourge of problem gambling, or so the script goes at least. The formation of the P3 Group is seen by more cynical observers as just the latest, desperate attempt by the bookies to stave off a growing avalanche of pressure to better police the gambling industry.

Unsurprisingly, bookmakers believe that self-regulation is the best way forward, in line with trade groups of every bent who put the pursuit of profits above all else when it comes to their modus operandi. Just as unsurprising is the abject failure of self-regulation in all manner of business models, from Libor to health trusts to energy pricing and beyond – yet politicians still appear blasé about the perils of such a stance, an approach which has already had catastrophic effects in the world of gambling.

Read the full article on the Huffington Post online.