Help Stop The FOBTs – submit your evidence to the consultation

On 31st October 2017, the government published a consultation that covers proposals to:

  • Maximum stakes and prizes for all categories of gaming machines permitted under the Gambling Act 2005.
  • Social responsibility measures for the industry as a whole to minimise the risk of gambling-related harm, including on gambling advertising, online gambling, gaming machines and research, education and treatment.

We are now well into the 12-week consultation period which will run until 23rd January, following which the government will consider its final proposal on gambling measures, including the maximum FOBT stake.

The Campaign objective is to reduce the maximum FOBT stake from £100 to £2 per spin. You can help us achieve this objective by submitting evidence to the government for examination in the consultation. To submit evidence, you need only follow the instructions to fill in a short multiple choice form, which will only take a few minutes to complete.

Both organisations and individuals are able to submit evidence for examination online. You can do this by:


FOBT suicide and the politicians who forget what they’ve said

The heartbroken partner of a man who took his own life after blowing more than £65,000 on the bookies fixed odds betting terminals, has called for restrictions on the controversial machines.

Wendy Bendel, who lost her partner Lee Murphy a year ago, told Scottish TV that after his first attempt to commit suicide, he had confessed that he had racked up tens of thousands of pounds worth of debts gambling on the bookies’ £100 a spin machines.

“He said it’s those machines, they’re addictive. They’re like a drug. The anticipation from when you get paid to go on the machines, the complete adrenalin rush and high of winning and the complete despair and destruction when you lose,” Wendy told STV, referring to heartbreaking letters Lee had written to her.


Why did one of the world’s largest betting shops open in Belfast?

Conor Johnston (@ConorJohnstonNI) asks Gary Toal of Toals Bookmakers why one of the biggest betting shops to be found anywhere outside the sports books of America was opened in Belfast, discovers a surprising twist in the history of betting shops in Northern Ireland and hears the view that the absence of legal Sunday betting here is a mystery to the modern punter…

The launch in March of one of the largest betting shops in existence in the form of the 7,600 square foot Toals shop at High Street in Belfast, could have caused a few raised eyebrows among anyone who has been reading GB newspapers and watching BBC One’s Britain at the Bookies.

Read more on Slugger O’Toole.


There is more to my story -the good, the bad and the ugly

Derek Webb founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling and the Stop the FOBTs campaign continues his personal story and gambling insights

I have explained how we defeated the bad guys, PGIC. We were the good guys as recognized by the US government in their federally appropriate tripling of our damages. The ugly guys were ShuffleMaster (SHFL), the public company we sold the non-British Isles rights to Three Card Poker™ to. During the trial against PGIC we discovered that SHFL had some evidence of the fraud in the patents being asserted against us, which they did not disclose to us when agreeing to defend us against PGIC. Sometimes the ones who want to appear to be your friends end up causing you the most harm.

After winning the jury trial against PGIC, a litigation investment entity approached us to buy a piece of the case. We agreed to do this as PGIC was not in a strong financial position but intended to drag out the proceedings to appeal. It meant that we had covered our expenses regardless of what transpired. We then prevailed in a judicial review, and accepted the PGIC settlement offer in late 2007.


There is more to my story – Part One – Exposing the Bad Guys

Derek Webb founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling and Stop the FOBTs shares his personal story and gambling insights

On New Year’s Eve in 1998 I was at home in Britain when I got a telephone call from a reporter for the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, who asked: “How does it feel to be sued by a public corporation?” As I was not aware of the suit I could not make any comment. The journalist was looking for any quote to take out of context and add colour to a corporate PR puff story originated by Progressive Gaming International Corp (PGIC).



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