Fixed Odds Betting Machines

A Roundup of Some of the Badly-hit Gambling Streets of London

Gambling is a risky business and many people lose a lot of money in the process. It was only revealed recently that players lost about £22 million while betting on machines that offer high-stakes. These machines had terminals where the odds are fixed or pre-determined. It was a blow to all those who gambled away to glory. In London alone, players put in £3 million in the area of High Street North, Newham. Also, around £2.8 million were spent in Edgware and Hounslow in the previous year. Chinatown and Tottenham High gobbled up about £2.5 million from the gamblers as well. These five streets alone amassed more than about £2 million across London.

The Gambling Commission provides statistics that indicate the profits generated by these terminals. The mentioned figures were released by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, which proved to be very shocking. In terms of £100-a-spin machines, which have infamously been labelled as the crack cocaine of the gambling world, these machines have turned controversial. Critics have denounced them as mediums of furthering poverty and crime. Parts of the people from various communities in Britain have emphasised that these machine are evil and need to shut down. It has been claimed that the Met has revealed and investigated about 600 such violent and scary cases that have been invariably linked to these betting shops only last year.

The streets where the players lost the most have been mentioned below along with the losses.

  • High Street North, Newham (£3 million)
  • High Street, Hounslow (£2.8 million)
  • Edgware Road (£2.8 million)
  • Chinatown, Soho (£2.5 million)

These are only a few, many more like these have been affected. In an attempt to reduce such a state, the CFG is in talking terms to reduce the stake to about £2 a spin. This action if implemented can tremendously reduce the harm that is being done the society.

A member from the group, Matt Zarb-Cousin, has said in a statement that these machines are rightly called the crack cocaine of gambling. The reason behind the name is the fact that they have such addictive qualities that it is difficult to disassociate with it. Gamblers get addicted to it and there is no turning back. He further goes on to say that FOBTs know of most of the betting shops’ sales and profits. One of the ways their business keeps running efficiently is because they advertise it in such an aggressive manner.

They also go to the length of organising free tournaments and credits to the players. All these techniques eventually make them hooked to the game, and then there is no turning back. It is a sad state of affairs as the people who lose money while gambling often vent it out on the staff or on the machine. It was reported last year that more than 613 cases of extreme violence and vandalism were seen by the Metropolitan Police.

However, it was surprising to note that the British bookmakers have said that the betting shops are seen as the safest among all in terms of gambling. In a statement by an ABB spokesperson, he mentioned that betting shops are just like coffee shops and pubs where people like to relax.