November 2017

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Northern Ireland bookie arrested in gambling law probe

In November, Campaign founder Derek Webb traveled to Northern Ireland to speak as an expert on FOBTs in a BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight investigation into FOBTs and their impact in the area.

As the presenter investigated the impact FOBTs have had on the area, Derek was on hand to explain the reason the machines are so addictive, and why the maximum stakes per spin should be slashed to £2. During the programme, Spotlight disclosed a letter from the NI Attorney General to a senior politician declaring an opinion of the illegality of FOBTs in Northern Ireland.

This was quickly succeeded by the news that a Northern Ireland bookie had been arrested as part of a police investigation into whether the machines breach gambling laws. Despite the Gambling Act 2005 being introduced into the UK, the last law introduced in Northern Ireland in 1985 states that gaming machines should have a maximum stake of 30p, with an upward winning limit of £8.

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