Gambling across borders

A blog about the productive life of risk

Trading in doubt

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RuncimanBlockDavid Runciman’s recent piece on gambling in the London Review of Books, ‘A pound here, a pound there’ – freely accessible to non-subscribers – refers to the Goldsmiths Report to highlight the compromised nature of gambling research funding. Runciman coins a smart phrase to articulate the gambling industry’s keenness to ‘keep research open-ended, because so long as nothing is settled there is always a reason for delaying a decision until more studies are done. Doubt is the currency in which these people are trading.’ Read the full article here.

New Statesman - Fixed Odds Betting Terminals - PDFThe longstanding wait for evidence has stalled the debate on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), and has deferred a political decision on the regulation of these controversial machines. Rebecca Cassidy’s contribution to the New Statesman’s supplement on Fixed Odd Betting Terminals highlights the delay:

The industry asks for reassurance from politicians that nothing will change unless it is proved that FOBTs cause problem gambling. FOBTs have been around since 2001.Why, after 14 controversial years, don’t we know more about how they are used? Who controls gambling research? And why does it so often defend the status quo?

Download the supplement here.

Meanwhile, the Campaign for Fairer Gambling has written a column on the PoliticsHome blog noting that, not only has a political decision on FOBTs been delayed pending research by the Responsible Gambling Trust, but that this research funding  has been channeled into industry-friendly academics. They write:

It has recently emerged that the Responsible Gambling Trust’s research will not look at the impact of the £100 maximum stake on FOBTs, nor will it look at whether having such a high maximum stake on such an addictive product is more conducive to harm. Instead of determining whether players have more of a propensity to stake up on FOBTs – and therefore adding to the evidence base to reduce the maximum stake – the Responsible Gambling Trust has instead commissioned their stable of industry-friendly academics to determine “what measures might limit harmful play without impacting on those who do not exhibit harmful behaviours”.

Read the full column here.

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Written by samkelly2014

September 18, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Posted in News

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