LONDON, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Councils across the country were proven powerless to act against the march of betting shops on high streets, as Paddy Power prevailed against Newham Council in a landmark test case, which saw the local authority object to a new shop on the basis of its primary gambling activity. Calls for action by politicians, officials and the public have been swept aside in favour of allowing the unrestricted spread of betting shops and their addictive roulette machines, Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).
Derek Webb, founder of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, who has been leading the battle to restrict the most addictive form of gambling in Britain, said: "The Gambling Commission is willing to stop adult gaming centres having betting licenses if they aren't doing enough betting business, but it won't take the same action against betting shops, where betting now accounts for less than 20% of shop turnover. The Gambling Commission refused to support the Newham Council and is failing to uphold the licensing objectives of the 2005 Gambling Act, so is clearly unfit for purpose."
Polling research carried out by 2CV , which was not considered in the Newham court case, has shown that the situation regarding FOBTs is more serious than national evidence previously showed. In the 2010 British Gambling Prevalence Survey, 26% of FOBT users played once a week or more. The polling data from Newham shows that 63% of FOBT users now play more than once per week with the average cash into machine per session of play of around £55. What is more worrying is that 87% of FOBT gamblers think the machines are addictive.
Statistics compiled by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling in conjunction with the respected data mapping organisation Geofutures has estimated that over £454 million was wagered on 279 FOBTs in the Newham Borough last year resulting in losses of over £14.50m.
A recent economic report looking at the impact of FOBT spending across the country showed that in Newham, if FOBTs continue to grow at their historical rate, 451 jobs could be lost in the wider local economy .
 Attach 2CV Polling Summary
 Attach Landman Economic Report and Constituency Spreadsheet
For more information, visit http://www.stopthefobts.org.
Notes to editors:
About the Campaign for Fairer Gambling
It is a campaign striving for fairness in gambling. So, the campaign is centred around the three licensing objectives of the Gambling Act 2005, aimed at:
- preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime,
- ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and
- protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
The Campaign aims to:
- Engage with politicians to toughen legislation
- Gather evidence of unfairness and non-transparency
- Rally support from special interest groups to highlight the negative social and economic impact caused by problem gambling under the current legislation
The Campaign for Fairer Gambling http://www.fairergambling.org is a not-for-profit entity funded by Derek Webb and Hannah O'Donnell. It recently launched the "Stop the FOBTs" campaign to highlight the problems associated with Fixed Odds Betting Terminals http://www.stopthefobts.org.
SOURCE fairergambling.org and stopthefobts.org