Economic and other relevant evidence on the impact of FOBTs

The Economic Impact of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals 2013

Landman Economics was commissioned by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling to conduct a research project on the economic impact of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in betting shops.
FOBTs only began to be installed in betting shops in the early 2000s but have grown quickly since then as a source of revenue. In 2011/12 FOBT gambling overtook traditional Over-the-Counter (OTC) betting as the main source of revenue from betting shops for the first time. Currently gross revenue from FOBTs is growing at around 7% per year in real terms.

report by Howard Reed (Director, Landman Economics)

A Campaign for Fairer Gambling letter to Martin Cave relating to the Ladbrokes and Coral Merger

A Campaign for Fairer Gambling letter to Martin Cave requesting that he take into consideration emerging evidence and information that could be pertinent to the pending merger between Ladbrokes and Coral which is under his consideration.

Landman review of DCMS £50 threshold evaluation

In January 2016 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport [DCMS] published Evaluation of Gaming Machine (Circumstances of Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (hereafter referred to as "the DCMS Evaluation"). This is an evaluation of regulations implemented by the Coalition Government on 6th April 2015. You can read the full report here.


Landman:The Economic Impact of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals 2015

Landman Economics has been commissioned by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling to produce an updated version of its research on the economic impact of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in betting shops. This report contains the findings from the updated research. To read the full report please click here.

Diagnostic Algorithms and Problem Gambling

This International Gaming Institute Gaming Institute GlobalScan Special Report, published in March 2011, outlines a variety of questions about the potential for diagnostic gambling algorithms on a casino floor. This report outlines these key questions and provides research-based insights and answers. You can read the full report here.

Review of the ABB's Code for Responsible Gambling by Charles Livingstone

On the anniversary of the launch of the Association of British Bookmakers' (ABB) Code of Responsible Gambling and Player Protection, leading Australian academic Charles Livingstone published a report which criticised the self-regulation of the industry and described the player protection measures as being of  "low efficacy". Prof Livingstone, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, described the measures introduced by the ABB as of “low to very low potential efficacy”, however it was described at the time by gambling academic and industry advisor, Professor Mark Griffiths, as “potentially world leading”. To read this report in full, please click here. .

A review of the Local Data Company's Report

In November 2014, Howard Reed of Landman Economics published a report which looked into the findings of a study conducted on behalf of the Association of British Bookmakers - carried out by the Local Data Company. The Landman report, entitled: "A Review of the Local Data Company's Report:  An independent analysis of betting shops and their relationship to deprivation along with their profile relative to other high street business occupiers"  disputed many of the claims in the Local Data Company's study - primarily that betting shops are not more commonly found in areas of high deprivation. You can read Howard Reed's report in full here.

Gambling Commission: Investigation into Ladbrokes

This Gambling Commission document entitled "Important lessons for the gambling industry on anti-money-laundering and social responsibility controls" asserted failings in those controls at Ladbrokes. The Gambling Commission did not impose any sanctions on Ladbrokes or the staff involved. Tony Cabot, a past president of the International Masters of Gaming Law. stated: " This looks more like an academic research project than an enforcement action related to regulatory violations." You can read the paper in full by clicking here. 

YouGov research reveals growing public discord towards FOBTs

A series of polls carried out by research company YouGov in April 2014 revealed the growing public discord towards FOBTs. The survey revealed than an overwhelming 70% of Brits polled wanted restrictions to be imposed on bookies’ roulette machines – and that a resounding 73 per cent of respondents believed that the maximum stake of £100 was too high. A further 61 per cent supported a reduction on the maximum stake from £100 a spin to £2, which would bring FOBTs in line with all other gaming machines in the UK. Click here to view the YouGov research in further detail.

The Stake of the Nation - Balancing the Bookies

April 2014 saw NERA Economic Consulting publish a report which highlighted flaws in the Association of British Bookmakers’ (ABB) submission to the recent Triennial Review. The ABB claimed the impact of wholesale restrictions on FOBTs would be huge, but the NERA report attested that there were several reasons why the ABB had overstated the likely impact of a FOBT stake reduction. Read The Stake of the Nation - Balancing the Bookies: A Review of the Association of British Bookmakers’ Impact Assessment in full.

Fair Game: Producing gambling research - The Goldsmiths Report

Anthropologists from Goldsmiths University invited 143 stakeholders to contribute to the “Fair Game” report, of which 109 agreed to take part in focus groups. These consisted of research stakeholders, including research users such as policy makers, treatment providers and regulators – as well as research producers from academia, the gambling industry and research institutes. Members of the gambling industry were also involved. The report concluded that the Government plays a role in sustaining the focus on “problem gambling”, which obscures the relationship between the gambling industry and the state. To find out more about this obscure relationship, please follow this link. You can also watch the Fair Game Launch Video here.

Gambling: the hidden addiction

This report, produced by the Royal College of Psychiatry is one of the first to be highly critical of treatment provision available in Britain for problem gamblers. The report found that treatment services are funded almost exclusively by the gambling industry, leading to an inevitable conflict of interest. It concluded that current services to treat problem gamblers are “underdeveloped, geographically patchy, or simply non-existent”. The report also expressed that the Government needs to take more responsibility, and the treatment response should match the expansion of gambling. For more on this report, please click the following link.

Evidence of FOBTs and Problem Gambling

Wheel of Misfortune: The case for lowering the stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

A key moment in the debate over the regulation of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in Britain sees a report issued by Respublica for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling.

The report reveals that Britain is the only developed country that currently allows a maximum stake of £100 every 20 seconds to be placed on FOBTs. The opinion is expressed by the authors that the UK government should take action to reduce the maximum stake to £2 to help to alleviate the devastating effects high stakes gambling has one both communities and local residents lives.

A report by Edward Douglas (Policy and Projects Manager), Dr. James Noyes (Associate Director of Social Reform) and Phillip Blond (Director) at Respublica.

You can read the paper in full here.

Some results on the efficacy of methods of regulating machine gambling

This paper by John Lepper and Stephen Creigh-Tyte explores how far restrictions on the use of gambling machines can restrict spending on them. Existing controls on ambient machine gambling are described and compared. A simple model of machine gambling is presented and used to predict the likely relative effectiveness of various types of regulation. Most commonly encountered restrictions appear to work as expected and this result is robust in the presence of expenditure determined by pathological gambling. Some suggestions for further research are made. You can read the paper in full here.

Liverpool Public Health Observatory Research

"Following the first extensive research into betting shops and FOBTs for a local authority, Liverpool Public Health Observatory has recommended that Councils lobby for a reduction in stake. We urge all Councillors to read this report."

Taken from the Liverpool Public Health Observatory report on Fixed Odds Betting Terminal Use and Problem Gambling Across Liverpool City Region by Cath Lewis, Louise Holmes and Alex Scott-Samuel. Read it in full here.

Northampton Borough Council crackdown on underage gambling

Following concerns that under 18s were using FOBTs, the Northampton Borough Council Licencing Committee requested a report to assess what could be done to change gambling behaviour. The Committee undertook a test purchase operation in Northampton Town Centre in conjunction with the Gambling Commission utilising two 17 year old police cadets. The aim of the operation was to see whether these young persons would be able to enter and use FOBTs. Five major betting shops were targeted, with three out of five shops failed to challenge the young persons for ID.

Read the full FOBTs betting shop report

New research into FOBT problem gambling

In September 2014, the Campaign once again commissioned polling company 2CV to conduct interviews with FOBT gamblers, in a bid to obtain effective research into player behaviour and patterns. Conducted in areas known to have issues with FOBTs - Newham, Medway, Manchester and Liverpool - the research conducted face-to-face interviews with bettors upon exiting betting shops. The research showed that 82% of betting shop customers perceive FOBTs as an addictive activity, with 32% of these borrowing cash in order to feed their habit. The study also looked into abusive behaviour and found that 72% of all betting shop customers have experienced other customers acting violently towards FOBTs.

To read the September 2014 2CV findings in full, click here

Independent analysis of the RGT's FOBT research

Following significant concerns about the Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) research into FOBTs, the Campaign For Fairer Gambling commissioned Professor Linda Hancock of Deakin University and Shannon Hanrahan of The Outcomes Group to conduct a thorough analysis of the RGT’s Machines Research Programme. Both of these individuals have impeccable independent credentials, providing a thoroughly impartial perspective. The evaluation concluded that the RGT’s analysis, methodology and recommendations were fundamentally flawed. Damningly, the evaluation showed that the RGT research was designed for “individually pitched interventions” rather than “much-needed policy change”. You can read the report in full here.  For a condensed Executive Summary of the evaluation, please click here.

LCCP Consultation in relation to the prevention of crime associated with gambling

Campaign for Fairer Gambling response to proposed amendments to LCCP for all operators in relation to the prevention of crime associated with gambling consultation.

Read the full consultation response here

Australian research into the causes of gambling related harm

Research by The Australian National University and Southern Cross University shows that aggregate gambling expenditure predicts harm, with evidence taken from a venue-level study. Read Shannon Hanrahan's summary of this research.

This evidence is backed by a study by Gary Banks, Chairman of Australia’s Productivity Commission who concludes that stake reduction is a direct way of reducing losses and therefore the problems associated with gambling.

Read Shannon Hanrahan's summary of research by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation into gambling and health in Victoria, as well as a summary of ‘Structural Changes to Electronic Gaming Machines as Effective Harm Minimization Strategies for Non-Problem and Problem Gamblers' - research by the Journal of Gambling Studies.

An insight into addictive behaviours by Postnote

Many experts consider excessive and compulsive behaviours as analogous to other addictions such as alcohol and drug use. Treatment provision for behavioural addictions varies considerably throughout the UK, with metropolitan areas much better served than rural ones.This report explores how a Cross-departmental involvement in a strategy focusing on both drug and behavioural addictions could help mitigate a wide range of social problems. You can read the full report here.

Gambling on pokies is like tobacco – no amount of it is safe

There have been many comparisons between gambling and tobacco lobbying - but what about the comparison of two dangerous products? This report explores whether occasional gambling is 'safe'? The study examined large, nationally representative surveys in Australia, Canada, Finland and Norway, and found that no amount of gambling was safe. Read the full information here.

Summary of Key FOBT Research


UK FOBT Research


2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey Secondary Study

Key FOBT research

Controlling where gaming machines may be played

A response to the Gambling Commission’s consultation on proposed amendments to the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) that apply to gambling operators licensed by the Gambling Commission.

Read the full response here

Estimated annual FOBT losses

With even more clusters of betting shops cropping up across the UK, the rise of the FOBTs is rampant.

UK punters are currently losing millions to FOBTs every year and the number is steadily increasing with each new year.

Under the current legislation, UK betting shops are only permitted to have a maximum of four FOBTs per venue, a fact which has caused many betting shops to ‘cluster’ themselves in one location, often on one high street... please click here.

Met Police call outs

A response to an FOI request detailing statistics relating to the number of police call-outs to British betting shops from the start of 2013 to the start of 2016

Read the full report here


Assoc of Town and City Management report showing a 43% increase in betting shops in town centres

There has never been a time when more effort, enthusiasm, and energy have been focused on ensuring the vibrancy and ongoing viability of our high streets. Throughout the country, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town Centre Managers, Town Teams and community led groups are working ‘on the ground’ helping to shape local agendas. It is this network of practitioners, drawn from an increasingly wide range of backgrounds, who are driving the future of our local centres and whose voices have been captured in this Assoc of Town and City Management report.

Newham Polling

In May 2013 the Campaign commissioned a survey by 2CV Research Ltd with 501 betting shop customers in Newham, where PaddyPower defeated the Council’s licensing committee decision to refuse on application for the 82nd betting shop in the borough.

87% of FOBT gamblers believed that FOBTs were addictive. Read the most comprehensive survey into FOBT gamblers carried out to date.

Disordered gambling, type of gambling and gambling involvement in the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007

Specific gambling activities, such as Internet gambling, are considered to be especially “addictive.” However, research published in 2010 examines the association between disordered gambling and gambling involvement within the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey (LaPlante, Nelson, LaBrie, & Shaffer, 2009). It shows that when controlling for involvement, gambling via virtual gaming machines (e.g., virtual roulette, virtual bingo, virtual keno) was the only gambling type that remained significantly and positively associated with disordered gambling.

The Brief Addiction Science Information Source (BASIS): The WAGER, Vol. 15(5) – The 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey: Considering Gambling Involvement

The study was further examined in European Journal of Public Health: Disordered gambling, type of gambling and gambling involvement in the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007.

Read Shannon Hanrahan's summary of this research.

People with gambling problems are making a massive contribution to gambling profits

The Channel 4 Dispatches TV programme, shown in August 2012, included a first public airing of some alarming figures about the amounts of money being spent on different forms of gambling by people with gambling problems – which was provided by Professor Jim Orford from Gambling Watch UK.

The full research paper: “What Proportion of Gambling is Problem Gambling? Estimates from the 2010 British Gambling Prevalence Survey” by Professor Jim Orford and colleagues estimated that 23% of FOBT revenue is derived from pathologically addicted gamblers.

Read Shannon Hanrahan's summary of this research.


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