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Anger over Government ‘failure’ to tackle addictive gaming machines
Posted on August 13, 2013

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.


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Campaign for Fairer Gambling statement in response to Daily Mail article
Posted on August 13, 2013

“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.”


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Gambling warning
Posted on August 12, 2013

MP Gregg McClymont joined MSP Mark Griffin on a visit to a William Hill in Cumbernauld town centre to see what the company is doing to help people addicted to gambling,

The visit follows McClymont highlighting concerns which have been raised around fixed odds betting terminals. McClymont previously quizzed the gambling minister Hugh Robertson but was told that no action would be taken pending a review and consultation.

The casino-style slot machines are known as the “crack cocaine of gambling” because the high stakes and instant prizes make FOBTs highly addictive.

Read the full article on Cumbernauld News online.

 


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Why do we prop up an industry destroying lives across Britain?
Posted on May 8, 2013

The digital roulette offered on fixed odds betting terminals is gambling’s crack cocaine.

As always when dawn breaks over this day, we turn to the parlour game of Fantasy Queen’s Speech. All regal orations have a strong element of fantasy, by painting a rosier picture of the legislative year ahead than the one that will come to pass. But the point of FQS is not to moan about the wishful thinking to which Her Majesty is condemned to give voice. It is to imagine what the old girl might say if a mischievous Black Rod spiked her water with a Mickey Finn truth serum.
This year, my preferred fantasy statement is as follows: “My Government will knowingly, deliberately and cynically add to my subjects’ sufferings, by colluding in the betting industry’s drive to increase the addiction to gambling.”

On reflection, the sovereign may be in the dark on this one, and, if so, she is in good company. The ruthless targeting of potential problem gamblers through the proliferation of the electronic gaming devices known as fixed odds betting terminals is a national scandal. But since very few of us ever enter a bookmakers’, and since the bookies’ prey are primarily those who do not vote and have no voice, it is largely hidden in plain sight.

I should state, in the hope of pre-empting any squealing letters of complaint from the bookies and their friends at Westminster, that I am not a puritanical enemy of gambling. Like Derek Webb, a professional gambler who made a fortune from inventing casino games, and now spends part of it fighting the march of FOBTs via his Campaign For Fairer Gambling, I am the precise opposite.

Read the full article in The Independent online.


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