What are FOBT’s?
Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBT) for short are touch screen electronic gaming machines placed in all the betting shops in UK. There are about 9000 of them, and each of them have 4 betting terminals. In the machines you will find the casino style gaming classed as B2, which are different roulette games, black jack, poker. They also have the slot games which are classed as B3.
Punters can place a maximum bet £100 in Roulette and a spin takes only 20 seconds. It’s estimated you can lose upto £300 in 1 minute £5000 in half an hour and £18.000 in an hour. Numbers speak for themselves.
FOBT’s where placed in betting shops in 2002. At the time they were self regulated,until 2005. Then the Gaming Board of Great Britain regulated the gambling in the machines. Maximum stake fixed at £100 and Maximum pay out to £500.
The betting industry since has grown to billions of pounds.
On the other hand there is anger and concerns from communities across the country for the misery that them machines are causing. Campaigners and Councils have been fighting to ban them dangerous machines or to slash the stake from £100 to just £2.
But what is achieved? Sadly not much!
One day I decided to see for myself. I got into Betfred. There were 2 young lads playing roulette. I approached them and the manager behind the counter told me to leave. So I left. I didn’t have to walk long as Ladbrokes is sitting just in metres from Betfred. I went in. A man in his late thirties was playing on two machines. I did not go to close to him as I thought the manager would tell me to go. I sat behind the guy but I could see everything clearly. He was playing £50 each spin on both machines. He is losing very fast. He kept feeding both machines with £20 notes. It was less then 30 min since I got in and he was checking his pockets for more money. Then he started shouting and kicking the machines, in a while he turned to the manager and screamed at him: “Four thousand man! When will they pay out!” and he stormed out. I expected the manager to ban him from the shop, but he just kept quiet. At that time I was just thinking how the hell can them machines be allowed in them shops. How????
The fight goes on. Campaigners and Councils want the Government to act to ban them machines from shops or lower the stakes to £2.
Daily Mail says “the crack cocaine gambling. They are the disturbing new face of gambling, betting machines, that enslave the poor and earn bookies BILLIONS.”
“A grieving mother – Anne Evans has launched a crusade against crack cocaine gamblin machines- reports Mirror, in memory of her son who hanged himself after blowing £200.000 in the gambling machines. She is determined the suicide of his son Alan Lockhart will not have been in vain.”
“Alan’s heartbreaking case highlights the devastaiting impact gambling is having on Britain”
After Alan’s sad end, a bookmaker, Mike Simons, said that he is convinced that the Government should act now and get the FOBT’s off the high street.
In December 2013 the former labour leader Ed Milliband was furious and wanted the action taken. He says: In towns and cities across Britain, you can see how the old bookies are turned in to mini-casinos.
In the poorest areas these are spreading like an epidemic along high streets with the pawn shops and pay day lenders that are becoming symbols of Britain’s cost-of-living crisis….”
What are the facts and why is the Government acting deaf?
Figures are suggesting a staggering £40 billion is collected every year from the 33000 FOBT’s which is worth 1.5 billion profit to the industry.
Not in vain, John Banks a Scottish bookmaker called them: MONEY FACTORIES- A LICENCE TO STEAL.