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Unemployed Gamblers Spend 5.6 Billon On FOTBS
January 7, 2013 : GBP 5.6 BILLION STAKED ON FOBTs BY UNEMPLOYED PUNTERS
Labour Party politicians claim poorest residential areas were targeted
British Labour Party politicians were up in arms this weekend over Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in High Street bookie shops, claiming that operators are targeting the poor and unemployed.
Always ready to embark on an anti-gambling story, the Daily Mail reported that GBP 5.6 billion was wagered on the machines by gamblers from areas with high unemployment.
Use of FOBTs is restricted to four per betting shop.
The FOBT machine population has grown from 16,380 machines in 2007 to 32,000 last year, the newspaper reported.
The casino-style terminals allow players to stake up to GBP 100 a time on a 20-second spin of a wheel for games such as virtual roulette.
The Mail claims that recent statistics show that punters from parts of Britain that have the highest levels of unemployment bet four times as much on the machines as those in more well-to-do areas.
In the 50 parliamentary constituencies with the highest levels of unemployment punters visited 1,251 betting shops and put GBP 5.6 billion into 4,454 high stakes machines last year, the newspaper claims.
By comparison, the 50 constituencies with the lowest levels of joblessness saw GBP 1.4 billion gambled at 287 betting shops on 1,045 machines.
Labour MP Dianne Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency in North-East London) accused gambling companies of targeting poorer areas, whilst fellow Labour politician Lucy Powell (Manchester Central) said: "According to these figures, there’s more being spent on gambling in my constituency than by the council on services."
The figures used by the Mail were produced by the problem betting campaign group Fairer Gambling from an analysis of industry data.
The Daily Mail reports that according to published statistics, William Hill plc netted an estimated GBP 416 million a year profit from fixed-odds betting machines, while Ladbrokes made around GBP 359 million, Coral GBP 290 million and Paddy Power GBP 41 million.
Refuting the claims, the Association of British Bookmakers said: "The idea that bookmakers target vulnerable communities is both false and offensive.
"Like any other retailer, we locate our shops where footfall is high and rents are affordable.
"These factors vary, which explains why there can be different numbers of shops in different parts of the country."
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
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