Fixed odds betting terminals, the code of practice, and problem gambling: A second report for the Association of British Bookmakers Limited

Abstract

AIMS:The aims of this report were to measure and explain levels of problem gambling amongst FOBT users, in the context of benchmarks of other gambling activities (particularly machines) both within and outside of the betting shop and toAssess the effectiveness of the FOBT Code of Practice, and the individual elements within it, in providing protection against problem gambling. METHODS: The research method used this year was in all major respects the same as we used last year, and the survey work was again conducted by MORI (now Ipsos MORI). It involved Omnibus surveys to provide a gambling context across Great Britain, followed by a survey of betting shop customers to provide more detailed evidence about FOBT usage and problem gambling. RESULTS and CONCLUSIONS:The evidence of this research is that problem gambling rates among adults in Great Britain have not increased and may have fallen. Problem gambling rates among betting shop customers have almost certainly fallen. Overall, we regard the effects of the Code as probably marginal, but, at the margin, probably beneficial. We think the Code may be better viewed as part of a package of measures and promotions that bookmakers, gambling charities and the Government have taken to deter problem gambling. It is beyond the scope of this research to disentangle the effects of each element of the package, but among betting shop customers it has been effective.

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