Addictive gambling terminals need to be curtailed
Posted on March 6, 2015

I write in response to Fionola Meredith’s column (DebateNI, February 27). At age 16, I became addicted to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in betting shops; machines on which it is possible to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds.

I should not have gone into a betting shop underage and accept my share of responsibility for doing so. I became addicted to these fast-paced roulette machines very quickly and, over a period of four years, I lost more than £16,000. Fionola argues: “But we don’t demand a ban on all bars and pubs just because some people are addicted to alcohol, do we?”. But I think this comparison to alcohol is clumsy.

Read the full article in the Belfast Telegraph online.


Curb fixed odds terminals: Jim Murphy urges bookies to set £2 limit on casino game gambling machines
Posted on March 2, 2015

THE Scottish Labour Leader has called for a £2 cap on stakes, which he thinks will curb problems with punters spending too much too quickly.

JIM MURPHY has demanded a dramatic cut in the maximum bet gamblers can place on a single spin on casino-type machines.

Fixed odds betting terminals, which have been dubbed the crack cocaine of gambling, let punters stake up to £100 every 20 seconds on roulette, poker and blackjack games.

Read the full article in The Daily Record online.


Regulating against problem gambling
Posted on January 5, 2015

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFFG) asserts that the ideology of the Gambling Commission is not in line with public opinion.

At the recent conference of the Responsible Gambling Trust, Gambling Commission Director Matthew Hill offered his reasons as to why the regulator will not support reducing the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from its current level of £100 a spin.

“Problem gambling takes place at all staking levels,” declared Mr Hill, before describing the notion of a reduction in the maximum stake as “crude” as it would “interfere with leisure gamblers who are not experiencing problems”.


Help us tackle high stakes gambling like the Scots, say council chiefs in call to curb ‘addictive’ betting shop games
Posted on December 16, 2014

Politicians are lining up to curb the controversial fixed-odds betting terminals, labelled the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’, with Westminster MPs calling for an outright ban and local authorities in England demanding more powers to block new betting shops opening on their turf.

The fresh outrage comes despite efforts by bookmakers to curb problem gambling themselves. English councils are now demanding more powers over planning permission, bringing them in line with counterparts in Scotland.

The future of the high-stake machines – which saw one gambler lose nearly £14,000 in just seven hours – is now likely to be debated in Parliament next year.

Read the full article in This is Money online.


Bookmakers promise compulsory limits to ease concerns over ‘crack cocaine’ gaming machines
Posted on November 3, 2014

Britain’s £2.3 billion bookmaking industry is bowing to concerns over controversial “crack cocaine” gaming machines by introducing compulsory limits on the amount of time and money players can lose before they are forced to take a break.

Under radical new measures to be announced today , customers using fixed-odds electronic gaming machines in high street betting shops, which have been dubbed the “crack cocaine of gambling” by campaigners, will have to make a choice over whether they set their own monetary or time limits.

If they fail to do so, they will for the first time be forced to take a break when they have been playing for 30 minutes or if their losses reach £250.

Read the full article in The Daily Telegraph online.

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