The bookmaker Paddy Power is targeting minority ethnic communities with controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), according to a new analysis.
The study, which uses Gambling Commission data, reveals that 61% of Paddy Power’s 349 betting shops are located in areas with above average levels of non-UK born population.
The mapping exercise shows Paddy Power’s shops are concentrated in places such as Newham and Brent in London, Luton and Leicester and parts of Birmingham.
By comparison, only a third of William Hill’s shops and just a quarter of BetFred’s 1,375 shops are located in these areas.
Each betting shop is allowed to have up to four FOBTs – described by critics as the “crack cocaine of gambling” – which allow stakes of up to £100 to be laid on casino games with a maximum delay of just 20 seconds between wagers.
Charities have repeatedly warned about high levels of problem gambling in minority ethnic communities, citing evidence from the government’s own gambling prevalence surveys.
A study for the Responsible Gambling Trust in 2014 said there were concerns that “the odds of being an at-risk gambler were higher among non-white ethnic groups, being around 2.6-3 times higher among those from black/black British and Asian/Asian British ethnic groups”.
Betting shops in high minority ethnic areas
Percentage share of operator’s shops that are located in the 40 UK authorities with the highest percentage minority ethnic populations