The Guardian News

  • William Hill could close up to 900 betting shops after FOBT clampdown

    William Hill blamed the government’s clampdown on fixed-odds  terminals (FOBTs) as it warned that up to 900 betting shops could close, putting 4,500 jobs at risk. The bookmaker reported a loss of £820m in the first six months of the year, as the decision to slash maximum stakes on FOBTs from £100...
  • It’s incredibly widespread’: why eSports has a match-fixing problem

    In 2017, the global eSports economy was estimated to stand at around $696m, attracting an audience of over 385 million people, according to Newzoo. But the industry’s formidable growth has attracted more than just hordes of professional gamers, avid viewers and brands offering lucrative sponsorship deals. Organised criminals and low-level chancers...
  • Casino owners donated to IEA after thinktank’s pro-gambling report

    The casino industry donated thousands of pounds to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) after the thinktank published a report on gambling policy that called for restrictions on the number of casinos to be lifted. The National Casino Industry Forum (NCIF) confirmed it donated £8,000 to the IEA having...
  • Macau authorities to care for 600 greyhounds after notorious track closes

    Authorities in Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub, will care for more than 600 greyhounds after their owner renounced them ahead of the closure of China’s only dog-racing track on Saturday. The move is likely to save former Australian racing dogs, which were exported to Macau in huge numbers and...
  • Paddy Power Betfair in talks to buy FanDuel after US sports betting ruling

    Paddy Power Betfair has made the first move in an expected wave of takeover activity prompted by the legalisation of sports betting in the US, as it launched a bid for fantasy sports league company FanDuel. Shares in UK gambling companies soared earlier this week as investors responded to the US supreme...
  • The Guardian view on fixed-odds betting terminals: the bookies lose, at last

    Editorial – Opinion (Fixed-odds betting terminals) The government’s promise to slash the maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to just £2 is both welcome and long overdue. Matt Hancock, the digital, culture, media and sport secretary, was right to describe the UK’s 33,000 machines as a “social blight” preying...
  • Bookies are struggling – but they’ve got a dead cert coming up, honest

    In the moaning and whingeing stakes, bookmakers are the thoroughbreds. The government expects us to pay too much tax! Horseracing is always asking for too much money! Sporting results have gone against us! These are familiar refrains that usually provoke cheers rather sympathy. So, last week, one of the...
  • Belgium is right to class video game loot boxes as child gambling

    Yesterday, the Belgian minister of justice, Koen Geens, announced the result of an investigation that the country’s Gaming Commission conducted into video game “loot boxes”, a mechanic that lets players pay real money for a chance at winning virtual items. It found that three popular games – Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive...
  • National lottery profits surge as good causes garner less – MPs report

    The government’s Gambling Commission should pressure Camelot to change the way it runs the national lottery to ensure more money goes to good causes amid rising profits for the company, a cross-party committee of MPs has said. The current lottery licence, which runs until 2023, is overly long and too inflexible,...
  • Lottoland deal with newsagents ‘the last thing’ Australia needs, Tim Costello says

    A Gibraltar-based company that allows Australians to bet on overseas lottery results should “simply take their bat and ball and go home”, the anti-gambling advocate Tim Costello has said. Lottoland, which runs synthetic lotteries allowing punters to place wagers on the outcome of overseas results, is seeking to expand...
  • ‘A vicious circle I couldn’t break’: the software helping tackle online betting

    “Iself-excluded from the major online casinos but there was always a new company I could open with and some of them don’t make it easy to self-exclude,” says Michael, a bricklayer from Glasgow, who started betting on football and greyhounds when he was 15, before developing a serious gambling...
  • Lessons about risks of gambling piloted in British schools

    Thinktank trials scheme to teach children about problems that can ‘wreak havoc on people’s lives’ Lessons about the risks of gambling have been trialled in secondary schools in an attempt to address high levels of gambling among school-age children. Around 25,000 children in the UK are currently classed as problem gamblers, with one...
  • Ladbrokes Coral could lose 1,600 jobs after Foxy Bingo takeover

    The takeover of Ladbrokes Coral by GVC, the Isle of Man-based firm behind Foxy Bingo, could trigger up to 1,600 job losses, the companies said, as they published fresh details of a deal worth up to £3.9bn. Online casino company GVC and bookmaker Ladbrokes said up to 6% of their combined 26,800 workforce...
  • National Lottery: on some scratchcards it’s impossible to win top prizes

    The National Lottery’s blue “Millionaire 7s” scratchcard game, which costs £5 a go, boasts of “six top prizes of £1m”. But if you go and buy one today, the shopkeeper probably won’t tell you that all six £1m jackpots have already been snapped up. Meanwhile, the Camelot-owned lottery’s £250,000...
  • Scratchcards: harmless flutter or costly addiction?

    The Co-op is taking on the National Lottery with the launch of its own scratchcards, which will give as much as four times to good causes. The member-owned business says a minimum of 20% from the sale of each of its own-brand cards will go to “local good causes”....
  • Ladbrokes Coral could lose 1,600 jobs after Foxy Bingo takeover

    The takeover of Ladbrokes Coral by GVC, the Isle of Man-based firm behind Foxy Bingo, could trigger up to 1,600 job losses, the companies said, as they published fresh details of a deal worth up to £3.9bn. Online casino company GVC and bookmaker Ladbrokes said up to 6% of their combined 26,800 workforce...
  • Cabinet reshuffle could threaten gambling curbs, say campaigners

    Anti-gambling campaigners have voiced fears that new culture secretary, Matt Hancock, will shy away from strict curbs on fixed-odds betting terminals, as it emerged the machines are taking more revenue than ever from British punters. Anti-FOBT campaigners warned that Hancock, who replaced Karen Bradley in this week’s cabinet reshuffle by Theresa May,...
  • Nasal spray aimed at tackling gambling addiction to be trialled in Finland

    Could gambling addiction be treated with a nasal spray? A group of Finnish researchers are launching a study to find out. The fast-working spray contains naloxone, which is commonly used as an emergency treatment for overdoses of opiates such as heroin, opium and morphine. It blocks the production of...
  • Gambling-style apps offered on Facebook without age checks

    The company behind thousands of the UK’s fixed-odds betting terminals(FOBTs) is offering gambling-style apps on Facebook without age checks, prompting allegations that children are being exposed to the risk of addiction. Earlier this month, the industry watchdog warned that more than 60,000 children were either gambling addicts or were in danger of...
  • Gambling addicts still hooked on machines as bookies fail to enforce scheme

    A government scheme that is meant to allow staff at betting shops to bar problem gamblers has drawn fresh criticism after an investigation found that addicts are still being allowed to bet. An undercover reporter posing as a known problem gambler who should have been ejected from bookmakers when attempting to...
  • 25,000 children in Britain are problem gamblers, report finds

    About 25,000 children aged between 11 and 16 are problem gamblers, with many learning to bet via computer games and social media, according to a report that has prompted warnings that Britain is “sleepwalking into a future public health storm”. In its annual survey of youth gambling (pdf), industry regulator the Gambling Commission...
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