Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Gambling, Addiction and FOBTs

It starts with a short list of hyperlinked (CTRL-click to visit the page in a new tab, keeping this page open!) articles and a podcast, most looking at the issue of 'FOBTs' (gambling machines found in bookies which many are getting addicted to).
Videos on this follow.
Finally, there are a series of links for researching specifically the issue of teen/young problem gamblers.

FOBT = fixed-odds betting terminal

The resources below present a variety of views and experiences of gambling, including stories from some people who are addicted to gambling. Many argue that these 'FOBTs' are a key part of 'problem gambling', and you'll notice that one of the videos is from a pressure group specifically campaigning to ban these.

You should start with this feature by the NHS, which features a problem gambler also profiled by the BBC.

Newspaper articles
I gathered these from one source, The Guardian (they collect similar stories here); if you go on to other papers' websites websites you can find more such stories, some with different views

1 Curb on betting terminals will enforce cut in maximum stake
Ministers to tackle 'crack cocaine of gambling' with new limits on fixed-odds betting terminals

2 Students who gamble their loans away
'I lost £8,000 in an hour,' says a student gambler. Why are students increasingly drawn to betting?

3 Bookmakers retaliate in battle over tax on FOBT high street casinos
George Osborne's tax on fixed odds betting terminals has the bookmaking industry scaremongering about job losses – a weakness racing can exploit

C4 News Debate (5mins)
An industry spokesman and a gambling addict debate the issue of FOBTs.

BBC Look North Report (5mins)

The story of one gambling addict, a look at FOBTs, and the response of a gambling industry spokesman:

StopTheFOBTs Pressure Group "Are FOBTs Fair" (1.5mins)
They break down how the odds are stacked against the gambler using FOBTs (interesting mathematics!)

MP Asks PM to Investigate FOBTs (1min)
Tom Watson is one of many MPs who have raised this issue in the House of Commons - if you look at the sidebar on the YouTube page for this video you will see many similar videos, including for full-length parliamentary debates.

Critical C4 News Investigation by Michael Crick (10mins)
Crick speaks to problem gamblers and industry insiders; his conclusions are not what the industry want to hear... He does speak to an industry spokesperson who argues that this is an issue of choiuce: adults should be free to gamble as they wish ... but then a man who lost his family and home from gambling. Crick says there are 33,000 FOBTs in the UK, each earning bookies an average £47k a year, a total for the bookies industry of over £1.5bn a year ... and shows how the bookies set out to poach problem gamblers from each other.

ITV News Investigation (2mins)
Chris Choi investigates FOBTs.

This Morning Report (10mins)
Phil and Holly speak to victims of FOBT addicts.

Sunday Politics Show Investigates FOBTs
Tory MP Jake Berry is featured: he tried to create a new law limiting advertising for gambling - local MP Phil Davis is seen arguing against this, saying its an example of the "nanny state".

BBC Newsbeat report on rising numbers of problem gamblers amongst the young. [2013] (includes video)

BBC Newsbeat follow-up report: more support needed? [2014] (includes video)

Responsible Gambling Council (funded by the gambling industry)

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