Saturday, 5 January 2013

FOBT: Described by the Daily Mail as the 'Crack Cocaine of Gambling'

The Guardian today reported on figures released by the Fairer Gambling Campaign on the amount of money gambled on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals broken down by constituency (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2013/jan/04/5bn-gambled-britian-poorest-high-street) (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jan/04/fixed-odds-betting-terminals-poorest-communities).

The data the Fairer Gambling Campaign have released on Hyndburn is. (Note to editors - full tables available).

Hyndburn - North West Euro Region - E14000758 Labour
Graham Jones (Labour)
Number of Bookies (Hyndburn) - 13
Number of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (Hyndburn) - 47
Gross Gambling Yield (Hyndburn) - £1,538,146
Total Gambled (Hyndburn) - £49,299,553


When the 2005 Gambling Act was introduced Labour said that we would keep Fixed Odds Betting Terminals under review – these figures provide further evidence that this review needs to take place urgently. This review must look at stakes and speed of play. We also want to see Betting Shops put into their own planning use class (They are currently in the same class as financial institutions) to give local authorities more power over the number of betting shops and machines on our high streets.

The Government has scrapped the Gambling Prevalence Survey making it difficult to track the impact of these machines on problem gambling, we want the gambling industry to fund an annual independent survey that monitors gambling addiction across the industry.

It is now time to address the prevalence of these machines and their detrimental impact. Described as the 'Crack Cocaine of Gambling' by the Daily Mail, Hyndburn's Gross Gambling Yield is £1.5m.
Clive Efford Labors Shadow spokesperson said on the release of these figures:

“These figures provide further evidence that Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are making a disproportionate amount of money from poorer households in areas with high levels of deprivation.

When the 2005 Gambling Act was introduced the previous Government said that these machines would be kept under review. This new evidence once again highlights that the Government must urgently hold this review and look at maximum stakes, speed of play and how we licence and regulate FOBTs.

The scrapping of the Gambling Prevalence Survey has made it difficult to track trends in problem gambling. The gambling industry must pay for an annual independent survey to monitor the impact of FOBTs and gambling addiction across the whole industry.