Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Guardian video: "FOBTs: the crack cocaine of gambling"

Dear MP, The Guardian last night released a video entitled "FOBTs: the crack cocaine of gambling", the most comprehensive and insightful film on fixed odds betting terminals to date. You can watch it here.

The video features:
  1. an interview with a drug dealer who uses FOBTs to launder the proceeds of crime
  2. a former addict who has lost everything to the machines
  3. the chief executive of the company that produces FOBTs avoiding questioning
  4. shop staff disclosing how FOBTs have changed the nature of their job, and why their pay structure is irreconcilable with social responsibility
The Prime Minister is expected to announce proposals to restrict fixed odds betting terminals very soon. The Campaign for Fairer Gambling is calling for a reduction in the maximum bet per spin to £2, which would bring them into line with other easily accessible gaming machines in Britain such as fruit machines.

At present on FOBTs it is possible to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on casino games, the most popular being roulette. Betting shops are limited to four FOBTs per shop, which is why multiple outlets are opening in "clusters" on the high street.

Restricting the maximum stake per spin to £2 would reduce the incentive for bookmakers to open in clusters, would better protect the player from harm and would return the focus of the betting industry to racing and sports betting, which should be their core business. However, FOBTs currently account for more than half of their profits.

Find out more about our campaign at

Regards Campaign For Fairer Gambling