FOBTs in the news: 3rd – 10th April

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It’s been another busy week in the news for the Campaign as further regional statistics have been revealed. The Burton Mail reported that more than £78 million is being gambled on betting machines in Burton and South Derbyshire each year, with an annual loss of almost £3 million.

Meanwhile, The Oxford Times shared news that local gamblers pumped £164,000 into FOBTs every day, losing £12 million.

More statistics were revealed in The Romford Recorder, as £55.5 million was gambled on FOBT machines in Havering by an estimated 6,902 people, losing a total of £10.5 million in 2014.

Over in Lincolnshire, the Echo reported that gamblers in Lincoln have lost almost £3 million on FOBT machines in the past year.

This week, several news reports also emphasised the dangers of FOBT addiction. The Sunderland Echo  told the story of a recovering gambling addict who relapsed in a desperate attempt to fund his wedding and honeymoon. When he failed to win, the player turned to violence, smashing up a FOBT machine.

Additionally, The Halifax Courier told of a mother-of-three who stole more than £35,000 from a Mytholmroyd firm to fund her addiction to gambling on machines. The woman has since been ordered to do more than 100 hours of community service.

Unfortunately, these are not unique cases, as this week The Northamptonshire Telegraph revealed that a man who stole more than £92,000 from a technology firm in Kettering to fund his gambling addiction has been sent to prison for 10 months.

Furthermore, David Bradford courageously shared his experience with a gambling addiction and how it almost tore his family apart in The Sheffield Star.

In a report ranking streets on how ‘healthy’ they are, the shopping area of Glasgow has been positioned as the unhealthiest in Scotland due to its high number of fast food takeaways, tanning salons and betting shops.  Health experts have recognised the importance of adding more sports centres, libraries and museums and have called for more power to implement this.

This reluctance towards betting shops has also reached Gloucester, where councillors refused an application from Coral Racing to open stores in empty units in The Oxbode. Councillor Andrew Lewis stated, “I think it is a sad reflection on society that the only business that wants to come here is a betting shop.”

On Central Lobby this week, the Campaign argued the importance of releasing regional statistics as the full impact of FOBT machines will only be understood after data on the amount of money gambled is shared.

You can help us take action against FOBTs on our website, or get in touch to share your experience.

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