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 on: August 21, 2017, 02:12:17 PM 
Started by Anonamouse - Last post by Anonamouse
Children exposed to record numbers of gambling ads as marketers hit the jackpot

Children are increasingly coming into contact with gambling ads, according to data which shows that online casino houses have collectively splurged £1.4bn on marketing since 2012; part of a 97% increase in ad spend over the past five years.

While aimed at adults, many of these ads are being consumed by children, sparking concerns from GambleAware, a charity offering help to those with gambling addictions, that betting shops could be unwittingly inducting a new generation of gamblers.

Figures compiled by Nielsen indicate that gambling industry ad spend hit £312m in 2016, a 63% rise on the comparable figure for 2012. Of this some £150m was accounted for by television ads but by far the biggest increase can be found in online and other advertising which now accounts for £160m of total spend.

Under current rules bookmakers are permitted to advertise on TV after 9PM with exemptions during live sporting tournaments allowing them to screen even earlier, meaning many children can catch this material, particularly in the online sphere.

Speaking to the Times GambleAware chair Kate Lampard, said: “As a society, we should be concerned about the rising risk of harm from wider access and more regular participation in gambling on future generations, resulting in a possible public health crisis in gambling addiction.

“We need to balance the array of [commercial gambling] advertising with information about the risks of gambling, and where to get help if it becomes a problem.”

The close association between sport and gambling came under scrutiny during the so-called 'pie-gate' scandal in which Sutton FC goalkeeper Wayne Shaw was filmed devouring a pie in cahoots with bookmaker Sun Bets after it offered odds on the unlikely half-time snack.

Last year an investigation by the Times found that Twitter users under the age of 18 who follow popular sports accounts were being "bombarded" with gambling ads.

 on: August 21, 2017, 06:06:54 AM 
Started by Anonamouse - Last post by Anonamouse
The genie is out of the bottle

We should act now or risk gambling addiction crisis

Evelyn FoxAugust 21 2017, 12:01am,
Kate Lampard

It seems gambling is everywhere in Britain today. In 2016, according to the data company Nielsen, £312 million was spent on advertising gambling, and even this understates what was spent promoting it online.

In the next 12 months, it is likely that more than half of the revenue generated by gambling businesses operating in Britain will be online. Social and video gaming offer an easy transition into gambling and increasingly the difference between the two is not clear.

In the past few years, concern has been expressed about gaming machines in bookmakers, and reasonably so. However, all gambling products carry risks and we must demand that all those profiting from commercial gambling do everything possible to protect players, especially young people, from being harmed.

As a society, we should be concerned about the rising risk of harm from wider access and more regular participation in gambling on future generations, resulting in a possible public health crisis in gambling addiction. Lottery products are legally available to 16 and 17 year olds, with 40 per cent in the form of instant games. According to research, 11 per cent of lottery product retailers failed to prevent children who could be under 16 purchasing gambling products.

We need to balance the array of advertising with information about the risks, and where to get help if it becomes a problem. With the average age at which children start to watch post-watershed TV unsupervised being 11¾, restrictions based on a 9pm watershed may offer little protection. Broadcasters are already working with GambleAware to address public concerns. But Google and Facebook, newspapers, professional sports clubs and sporting venues should join the effort. Above all, we need better leadership from the gambling industry. There are initiatives under way, but there is more to be done.

GambleAware already requires £10 million annually to meet the short-term needs of the National Responsible Gambling Strategy, and we expect this will need to increase. Under voluntary arrangements, the industry donated £8 million last year, 20 per cent shy of what is needed. We have bold ambitions to increase early intervention and treatment but such ambitions come with a sizeable price tag.

For many, gambling is an enjoyable leisure activity, and the industry creates jobs and pays taxes to fund public services. But for three quarters of a million people there is a real risk of harm. We all have a responsibility to take action to prevent any future crisis in addiction.

Kate Lampard is chairwoman of the charity GambleAware

 on: August 21, 2017, 04:35:17 AM 
Started by Anonamouse - Last post by Anonamouse
The Guardian view on betting terminals: an outrageous racket | Editorial

EditorialSunday 20 August 2017 19.56 BST
A betting terminal
The UK Treasury has cold feet about the department of culture, media and sport’s review of fixed-odds betting terminals, expected to recommend swingeing cuts to the maximum bet. The chancellor is said to be alarmed about losing a lucrative tax stream.

Absurdly, FOBTs, which seduce gamblers to play for as long as they can, are treated in legislation as if they were games of skill. That means players can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds. But there is no skill whatever involved in playing them; only in programming them to extract the most cash possible from players. Recent figures show that adds up to about £2bn a year, which is an awful lot – hundreds of thousands – of losing gamblers. It is also more than half the revenue of the high-street betting chains, and generates £400m a year in tax.

It is not just the speed and ease with which money can be lost that makes these machines dangerous. FOBTs trade on a psychological insight: what keeps customers engaged is less the hope of winning than the pleasure of playing. They are designed to induce a state of “flow”, or “being in the zone”, in which all of the player’s attention and consciousness is pulled into the game, and nothing from the outside world can impinge. It is, while it lasts, entirely satisfying. This is a similar mechanism to that which, in popular myth at least, leads teenagers, lost in their video games, to starve to death after playing for days and nights without sleep or food. It depends on speed of play, and in frequent but never predictable rewards. The knowledge that intermittent reinforcement works better than predictable rewards goes back to the psychologist BF Skinner’s theory of conditioning, and the gaming industry takes full advantage of it. The machines can pay out something on nearly half the spins, without ever losing overall.

Such a tightly circumscribed and rule-bound world has an obvious appeal for those whose lives don’t hold a lot of other pleasures. It is not just the addictive personalities who are vulnerable – even though a US study estimated that there are more Americans who are gambling addicts than survivors of breast cancer – it is pre-eminently people who are poor and unemployed. Betting shops seep along high streets as conventional commerce recedes, but betting shops sell nothing but dreams.

The DCMS review was due in June, and has now been postponed until October at the earliest. The government is considering lowering the maximum stake to £2, a move backed by all the other political parties, including the DUP, on whom it depends for its working majority. The big gambling companies will fight tooth and nail to protect their huge profits. The government should recall a report earlier this year from the cross-party parliamentary group that pointed out that the money siphoned out of poor communities by gambling could be much more usefully taxed if it came from consumer spending, or the income of people in work.

The harm done by the addictive nature of these machines of extortion is not in doubt. There is strong cross-party support to slash the maximum stake from Iain Duncan Smith to Tom Watson, who has offered Labour votes to overcome the resistance of Conservative libertarians. The government has acted before against the indefensible when strengthening regulations on payday loans. There is no excuse for inaction now.

 on: August 18, 2017, 03:31:33 PM 
Started by Anonamouse - Last post by Anonamouse
Says it all

Sean Quinn bets on gambling as he returns to business

Donal O'DonovanAugust 18 2017 2:30 AM
 Sean Quinn2
Sean Quinn
The distinctive 'Q' branding is the main clue to the involvement of controversial businessman Seán Quinn Snr in a new online gambling venture that launched last night.

It is his first significant commercial venture since the dramatic fall of Quinn Group and his own subsequent bankruptcy. After emerging from bankruptcy in 2015, Mr Quinn is now free to go back into business.

The QuinnBet website and app offers gambling across a range of sports, including horse and greyhound racing, soccer and GAA. The company describes itself as Ireland's and the UK's newest online sports book provider, with an online casino set to launch in the coming weeks.

The website bears the distinctive 'Q' branding that was once seen across the former Quinn empire.

A spokesman confirmed that the business is wholly owned by Seán Quinn Snr, but said it would be run by his son, Seán Quinn Jnr, and other family members. Filings with the company's office list Seán Quinn Jnr, his brother-in-law Seán Kelly and Cavan businessman Séamus McMahon, of Kilconny, Belturbet, as directors.

 Sean Quinn Jnr2
Sean Quinn Jnr
Seán Quinn Snr was once Ireland's richest man, with an extensive industrial business involved in glass and aggregates.

However, he and his family lost control of the business and Mr Quinn was eventually bankrupted following a series of massive failed bets on the stock market, in particular on shares in Anglo Irish Bank made using complex contracts for difference that resulted in massive debts.

The unravelling of the Anglo stake and of the Quinn Group has been played out through the courts for almost a decade.

In 2012, both Seán Quinn Snr and Jnr were jailed for contempt, after failing to comply with court orders to reverse measures stripping multi-million euro assets from their former international property group. Seán Quinn Jnr subsequently purged his contempt by paying a sum of money.

QuinnBet's website has been built by FSB, a UK company licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission that provides online betting infrastructure to a number of brands as a so-called 'white label' service. QuinnBet said it is licensed in Ireland under the Betting (Amendment) Act 2015.

Irish Independent

 on: August 18, 2017, 06:49:06 AM 
Started by Anonamouse - Last post by DaftDave
I am surprised the industry isn't claiming that the £2 stake will put tens of thousands lives at risk as junkies will die from withdrawals when their dealers can no longer use the betting shop as a base.

Hubs of the (drug dealing) community

Time to change the betting shops to better shops

 on: August 17, 2017, 06:06:12 PM 
Started by Anonamouse - Last post by Anonamouse
It's getting out of hand  Shocked

15-year-old in Old Bailey dock accused of killing ‘low level dealer’ | Camden New Journal

The scene in Palmerston Road last December

A 15-YEAR-OLD gunman who had been lying in wait beside a Kilburn restaurant shot and killed a low-level drug dealer who had pledged to break away from an organised network and “go it alone”, a jury heard yesterday (Wednesday).

The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, is accused of murdering 21-year-old Yasir Beshira in a side street off Kilburn High Road during rush hour on December 8 last year. Sammi Tesfazgi, 21, from West Hampstead, and 22-year-old Rilind Tahiri, from Islington, who allegedly drove him to and from the scene of the killing in a stolen Range Rover, are also accused of murder and appeared in the dock alongside him at the Old Bailey at the opening of the trial.

Brian O’Neill QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “A small-time drug dealer named Yasir Beshira was shot and killed in a side street just off the Kilburn High Road. The gunman, says the prosecution, was the [teenage boy], who had been driven to the location by Mr Tesfazgi and Mr Tahiri for that very purpose.”

He told the court there was evidence that Mr Tesfazgi had a “long-standing association” with the victim and while Mr Beshira was living in a West Hampstead hostel in 2013 had “requested permission for Mr Tesfazgi to visit him as a guest”.

Mr O’Neill told the jury that Mr Beshira, who was known to his friends as “Loopy”, had spent the day of his death moving between a William Hill betting shop and Palmerston Road, a dead-end side street next to a branch of Nando’s, which was a “known, regular spot at which he would conduct drug deals”.


Yasir Beshira

He said that Mr Beshira, who was of Eritrean origin and lived with his family close to the scene of the murder, had been “acting as a runner” for a drugs phone line that was “operated by someone who went by the name CJ”.

But in the days before his death, the court heard, Mr Beshira had “been putting the word about that he was going it alone and that orders for drugs could now be placed with him directly”. Mr O’Neill told the jury: “It may well be the case that it was his decision to go it alone that led to him being murdered.”

Pointing towards pictures of overflowing bins beside the restaurant, he said: “Prior to the shooting the gunman was hiding behind these bins waiting for his victim to appear.” When Mr Beshira appeared in the side street at around 5.20pm, the gunman stepped forward and shot him once in the chest, with the bullet passing through his stomach and exiting his lower back, before fleeing on foot through the Webheath Estate.

Mr Beshira made it a few metres before collapsing outside Ellie’s Café in Kilburn High Road. “Efforts to save his life at the scene, first by two doctors who happened to be passing by, and then by members of the London Ambulance Service and Helicopter Emergency Medical Services personnel, who attempted to perform life-saving surgery in the street where he lay, were unsuccessful,” Mr O’Neill said.

The murder weapon has never been found, but the jury was told that a bullet casing discovered at the scene proved it was likely to have been a “self-loading pistol” that was of a “large calibre and/or a high velocity bullet injury”.

The teenager, who is now 16, Mr Tesfazgi and Mr Tahiri all deny charges of murder. The trial continues.

 on: August 16, 2017, 06:42:05 PM 
Started by Anonamouse - Last post by Anonamouse
Bungling Nuneaton robber admits bank raid

By Court Reporter

A ROBBER who had threatened to blow a Nuneaton bank cashier's brains out if he did not hand over money did not hold on to the cash himself for very long.

Following the frightening robbery at the Nat West in Market Place, Nuneaton, in April, Stephen Cheshire pumped it all into a fixed odds gambling machine at a nearby bookies.

And Cheshire has been told by a judge at Warwick Crown Court it is 'all but inevitable' that he will be given a prison sentence.

Cheshire, aged 55 of Tudor Road, Nuneaton, pleaded guilty to robbing a Nat West bank cashier of £140 during the incident at around midday on April 28.

His barrister Sally Hancox said there was a very clear CCTV recording of the incident.

Although there was no sound on the recording, other bank staff heard Johnson demanding: "Hand over the f***ing money or I'll blow your brains out."

"The bank employee behaved exceptionally calmly in the circumstances," Miss Hancox observed.

But of Cheshire, she pointed out: "He has absolutely no individual recollection of that day.

"He can't remember attending the bank or behaving in the way shown, nor does he remember going straight to Ladbrokes and squandering the lot on a fixed-odd gambling machine.

"But when arrested and asked what he'd done, he said 'I'm a bank robber.'"

Miss Hancox, who described Cheshire as 'a solitary man,' with no friends other than those he drinks with in his local pub, said: "He knows and expects the sentence will be one of immediate custody. The question is when sentencing takes place."

She explained that a psychiatric report had been prepared on Cheshire prior to the hearing, and the defence would be willing for it to be uploaded onto the court system now he has entered a guilty plea.

Asking for an adjournment for that to be done, she suggested there were matters in the report which could have an effect on the sentence.

Recorder Steven Evans responded: "Custody is all but inevitable in this case, but that ought not to prevent you making that old-fashioned argument of 'exceptional circumstances.'"

Prosecutor Charles Crinion also asked for the case to be adjourned for an impact statement to be obtained from the back cashier.

Adjourning for that to be done and for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Cheshire, Recorder Evans granted him bail with conditions including one that he does not go to the Nat West branch in Nuneaton.

But he told Cheshire: "You have entered a guilty plea, and you're going to get credit for entering that plea.

"There has been some discussion about the nature of the sentence, but I want to be straight forward with you: I hope you understand it is all but inevitable you will receive a custodial sentence.

"I don't want you to leave court thinking I had given you hope of another type of sentence."

 on: August 16, 2017, 06:30:35 PM 
Started by Anonamouse - Last post by Anonamouse
Gambling addict smashed up bookies in revenge after losing thousands of pounds

Hammer-wielding Eric Baptista wrecked seven William Hill branches across Liverpool causing £36,000 of damage

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Unlucky gambler smashed up SEVEN bookmakers after losing thousands of pounds
A hammer-wielding gambling addict smashed up SEVEN William Hill bookmakers in revenge attacks after losing thousands of pounds.

Eric Baptista destroyed betting terminals, gaming machines and televisions in shops across Liverpool causing £36,000 of damage.

The 29-year-old smeared paint in one branch and filmed himself on a mobile phone “wreaking havoc” with a hammer in another.

Baptista, who claimed it was a protest against the betting industry, shouted: “I’m sick of this f***ing s***! I’m sick of losing money!”

Liverpool Crown Court heard the taxi driver, of Seacole Close, Toxteth, first struck at the William Hill in Aigburth Road on May 9.

Mike Stephenson, prosecuting, said he covered machines and TVs in anti vandal paint he was seen buying at a nearby DIY store.

A worker said the shop was forced to close due to £3,713 of damage, but he tracked down Baptista on Facebook.

Baptista’s rampage continued on May 22, when he lost around £150 on a gaming machine at the shop in Park Road, Toxteth.

Mr Stephenson said: “In a fit of rage he smashed two betting terminals and two gaming machines.”

Having caused £8,346 of damage, Baptista headed straight to the store in Lawrence Road, Wavertree.

He smashed three machines by pulling them over and throwing them on the floor.

A female member of staff heard him say: “I’m sick of this f***ing s***! I am sick of losing money!”

He left but returned to take pictures of the £4,130 damage caused, before escaping in his taxi.

Baptista drove to the Aigburth Road branch where he smashed 12 TVs and broke six machines, causing £10,066 of damage.

He then struck at a shop in Lodge Lane, Toxteth , smashing 13 TVs and five machines, causing £3,196 of damage.

William Hill, Aigburth Road, Liverpool
Mr Stephenson said there was a lull until May 28, when hammer-wielding Baptista again targeted the Aigburth Road branch.

He used the weapon to smash four machines, 15 TVs and a touch screen monitor, filming the £5,679 attack on his mobile phone.

Later that day he entered the shop in Lodge Lane with an unknown woman, who filmed him on a phone.

He used a hammer to destroy 14 TVs, a touch screen monitor, betting terminal and gaming machines.

Mr Stephenson said: “A bizarre touch - he then produced water balloons from a carrier bag and threw them inside the gaming machines.”

A female worker heard him say: “This is a protest. I’m sorry, there’s no safety net for customers.”

When arrested, Baptista revealed he had a gambling problem causing depression and said he was receiving counselling.

Baptista confessed and told police he had tried to get himself banned from William Hill stores but failed.

Mr Stephenson said: “He said he was a gambling addict and had lost everything. He said he smashed all the machines out of frustration that he had lost so much money and William Hill had done nothing to help him.

“He said he started a forum against the gambling industry and campaigned to try to highlight the problems gamblers face without the help of betting companies.

“He said he didn’t regret causing the damage and that he was willing to face the consequence of his actions.”

Baptista, who has no relevant previous convictions, admitted seven counts of criminal damage.

Eric Baptista leaves Liverpool Crown Court. (Image: Liverpool Echo)
Judge Elizabeth Nicholls said: “The staff who witnessed it wouldn’t know where this man was going to stop.”

Carole Clarke, defending, said her client had since quit his job as a taxi driver and volunteered at the Florence Institute in Dingle.

She said his “deep-rooted addiction” spiralled after he returned to the city, following a spell working in catering on cruise ships.

Ms Clarke said he often “lost £400 in five minutes” on fixed-odds terminals and “lost all his savings”, which led to family problems.

She said he was frustrated William Hill would not ban him and described his “extreme” actions as “a cry for help, wrongly conceived”.

Judge Nicholls said Baptista launched a “campaign of damage” against William Hill after losing “a substantial amount of money”.

She said: “Whether that campaign was out of vengeance, frustration or really an act of protest, is less than clear.”

The judge said he went on a “spree” and “wreaked havoc” before sensibly signing up for counselling on May 26.

But she said he then armed himself with a hammer and smashed up further stores, adding: “What is slightly chilling is you filmed yourself doing that.”

Judge Nicholls added: “No doubt you would say they deserved it because of the financial harm you have sustained through gambling.

“But there are more appropriate ways to deal with your gambling addiction than smashing up William Hill.

“Think what it must have been like for those working in the store to witness you, as something of a madman, smashing up those stores.”

The judge said Baptista had taken steps to tackle his addiction and jailing him was not in his or the community’s interest.

She gave him 12 months in jail, suspended for two years, a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 150 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Nicholls made a restraining order banning Baptista from entering William Hill branches for five years.

 on: August 16, 2017, 06:25:25 PM 
Started by Anonamouse - Last post by Anonamouse
Man 'pistol whipped' during Ladbrokes armed raid was “stretchered away”

Armed police surrounded the building

16:38, 16 AUG 2017Updated16:41, 16 AUG 2017

Scene of an armed robbery at a Ladbrokes in Willenhall
A member of staff had to be stretchered away after he was ‘pistol whipped’ during a terrifying armed raid at a bookmakers.

The robbery occurred at about 9am today at the Ladbrokes betting shop, on Robin Hood Road, Willenhall .

A man in a high visibility jacket is believed to have struck as the shop was being opened before stealing a mobile phone and then making his escape.

Eyewitnesses said swarms of armed police arrived soon after to surround the building, along with police dog units and an ambulance.

Locals said it was the latest in a series of raids at the shop, which was closed for the whole of Wednesday.

The scene of an armed robbery at a betting shop in Willenhall, Coventry (Image: Simon Gilbert)

One eyewitnesses described the scene as “chaos” and said the robbery was over by the time he arrived on the scene at about 9.30am.

He said: “All the police were standing out the front of Ladbrokes.

“There were three or four car loads of armed police. There were dogs too. They were looking around the site.”

He added: “The lad who works there was taken out on a stretcher. He had a mark on his face, it looked like on his nose. He was put straight in the. We saw him being put in the back of an ambulance.

“The bosses of Ladbrokes turned up soon after and they were there for more than two hours.”

The scene of an armed robbery at a betting shop in Willenhall, Coventry (Image: Simon Gilbert)
“Nothing new”

Another witness at the scene said: “The place has been robbed four or five times in the past 12 months and about three times in the past three months.

“It’s nothing new. It’s just normal. It’s worse this time because someone has been hurt. But it just feels like a typical Wednesday.”

He added: “The lad has gone in to open the shop and someone has run in behind him, that’s all we can assume.

“It’s happened at night in the past. The police have been investigating, but they never get anything. It’s a pointless exercise.”

 on: August 16, 2017, 02:20:52 PM 
Started by Anonamouse - Last post by Anonamouse
CCTV released after Bedford bookmakers assault

16 August 2017 at 11:21am
Do you recognise this man? Credit: Bedfordshire Police
CCTV has been released of a man police want to speak to in connection with an assault in a bookmakers in Bedford.

A member of staff at Ladbrokes in Thurlow Street, Bedford, was verbally abused and then assaulted at around 9.10pm on Saturday 12 August.

Sergeant Sue Reynolds, from Bedfordshire Police, said: “We are appealing for anyone with information or who recognises the man in the CCTV images to come forward as we are hoping it will help with our investigation.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Sergeant Reynolds on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Last updated Wed 16 Aug 2017

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