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  • #677
    • Total Posts 1008

    Some of the regulars in my local betting shop have stopped losing money on the horses and the reason isn’t because they have stopped following my tips. It’s because they are losing money on the fixed odds betting terminals instead. They seem to have lost interest in other forms of gambling and spend their time sitting in front of these machines playing roulette. Sometimes they win decent amounts but I doubt if many of them make a profit in the long term. Yesterday one guy lost £800 and another lost £1000.

    A study last year reported that there was little indication that this type of gambling was more addictive than others but I am not sure this is correct. A lot of these punters regularly rush across the street to get more money out of the nearest cashpoint – they rarely did this when they were betting on the horses and dogs and seemed to have more control over their gambling.

    More punters in the betting shop are switching their gambling from the horses  to the FOBT’s and other sports ( especially soccer ) which cannot be good for our sport.  

    • Total Posts 17718


    Just my opinion, but these machines will eventually kill the golden goose they set out to trap.<br> I only visit my local bookies once or twice a week, and it is becoming a morgue, even on busy race days. Onetime regular punters become hooked on these things, do their brains a few times, and apparently disappear from view completely.<br> A few of my friends, who would have the occasional horse racing bet, succumbed to the FOBT’s in their early days, but now no longer go near a bookies.<br> Unlike the steady drip of the AWP machines, these machines drink the blood, and then rip the heart out, in a very short space of time, so much so that it is now rare to see them used that much.<br>Whichever way you view it, long-term they are doing no good for horse-racing. <br>

    • Total Posts 2663

    More punters in the betting shop are switching their gambling from the horses  to the FOBT’s and other sports ( especially soccer ) which cannot be good for our sport.

    No, but they are excellent for a betting shop’s bottom line.

    I would say they are no more addictive than, say, crack cocaine and have pretty much all the benefits.


    barry dennis
    • Total Posts 398

    horse race t/o in betting shops now only 40% of total over the counter t/o.    10 years ago represented 90%.

    easy to sit at home topping up credit via cards, betting on exchanges at 20% better odds (ha ha ) at least that aint addictive.

    Maxilon 5Maxilon 5
    • Total Posts 2432

    Swallow, on my first trip to a US "Racino" at Delaware Park, I was struck by two things;

    a) The amazing size of the track and the sparse Saturday crowd observing the races.

    b) The huge number of slot machines in the opulent casino and the heaving mass of people queuing to play them. With their nickel buckets, like kids building sandcastles on the beach at Cleethorpes.

    It was an Orwellian sight and food for thought for those who, like Wolverhampton, are considering a fundraising casino on their premises.

    It’s all fine and dandy for a shrinking minority of horseplayers and owners, not so good for those sucked in to the slot experience.

    FOTB’s are simple and trust to luck. There is no mental effort required which means that anyone can play. They pass the time. Unlike Horse Racing, you don’t have to learn anything and the participation is instant. After a while, the player constructs the delusion that the machine can be beaten. That patterns can be detected. That there is a system and sequence to payouts.  

    Human beings are highly influenced by brightly coloured, illuminated and flickering visual stimuli. There are pretty colours and flashing lights which make even the most attention devoid youngster attend. The graphics are clever and influenced by attention absorbing Playstation-like software.  

    The focus these machines elicit, particularly in a less intelligent, susceptible sample, borders less on addiction, but on hypnosis.

    The principle of Intermittent Reinforcement is activated.  That is, you know you are going to get rewarded, you just don’t know when.  This is the most potent form of behaviour modification known to Psychologists. Rats have been known to waste away pressing levers for certain types of rewards.

    Research by Dr Mark Williams and Dr Mark Dickerson, (whose book "Compulsive Gamblers" is an excellent resource), believe that slot machines/FOTB’s are highly addictive, in contrast to the research you mention.

    Irish Stamp
    • Total Posts 3185

    Having worked for a period of time in betting shops I can definitely tell you they are addictive – you see plenty of people (including a former Premiership footballer who’s recently moved clubs) put substantial sums of money in and get the same out and then put it all back in again and lose.  It’s a vicious circle that 9 times out of 10 ends up with all the money back in the FOBT.

    Using smaller sums probably helps rather than £30 or £40 at a time but you still lose in the long run.  We could take anything from £2,500+ in a pretty poor part of a Northern town – just think what they’d take in the City of London or a large city.

    barry dennis
    • Total Posts 398

    FOBT’s addictive,

    the gambling commision says they aint,

    a couple of unknown doctors (of what) says they are,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 take your pick

    I asked a hundred people who they believed,

    • Total Posts 3089

    <br>If you write a book called ‘Compulsive Gambling’ isn’t it possible that you’ve already reached your conclusion before you do your ‘research’?

    Of course the machines are addictive – that’s the whole point of them. But so are drugs, alcohol, tobacco, shopping, credit, the internet, mobile phones and other forms of gambling. The machines just bring the user to crisis point quicker than most of the other addictions.


    • Total Posts 654

    They are also a bloody nuisance and one of the reasons for making me open an internet account. I only enter a shop now when I want to watch a specific race that I can’t watch at home because I have to fight past these infernal machines and the morons playing them.

    • Total Posts 1981

    The Gambling Commission’s report can leave nobody in any doubt that they have an agenda. A truly absurd conclusion that nobody remotely independent would come up with.

    What saddens me is that racing puts on floodlit meetings that are little more than an excuse for the shops to stay open to milk the FOBT addicts. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot with both barrels.

    • Total Posts 2065

    The FOBTs make more money in our shop than we make on anything else (sports and horses and greyhounds combined). They are played on mostly by Chinese players, and it is certainly not unknown for them to start playing on them at 12:00 PM and have to be chucked off them at closing time.

    Maxilon 5Maxilon 5
    • Total Posts 2432

    Apologies all: It’s Professor Mark Griffiths, from Nottingham Trent University, not Dr Williams. (I’m not firing on all cylinders lately).  He consulted as a witness for the Joint Commitee on the Draft Gambling Bill and is an acknowledged expert on gambling behaviour in the field of Psychology.

    And Dr Mark Dickerson is a Psychologist at the University of Western Sydney who carried out research into "Pokies", (FOBT Poker Machines).

    Both are specialists in the study of gambling behaviour. Summarising their research indicates that they believe slot machines/FOBT’s are addictive.  

    I personally think that are hypnotic, rather than addictive, but that’s a fairly uneducated opinion. The two people I mentioned research these things properly.

    • Total Posts 3901

    I don’t know about the UK, but here we don’t have FOBT’s in bookies, but in pubs.

    Racing Daily
    • Total Posts 1364

    I don’t know how to play poker.  Never learned and never really had the inclination to learn.<br>Maybe that is not such a bad thing  ;)<br>I played the slot machines a lot in my younger days.  I would put £30 or more in them during a session.  Not those poncified £4 jackpot machines on Southend seafront, but the £50 jackpot club machines. <br>I haven’t played a slot machine for 20 years now, as even an addict like me realised that you can’t win.  They have moved the goalposts now, and switched to poker based FOBTs and suchlike.  The bottom line still remains that the machine will still take the player’s money in the long run.  You can’t play a bluff against a microchip, because the microchip knows what it has dealt you LOL

    Irish Stamp
    • Total Posts 3185

    Interesting you mention the FOBT’s in pubs David as I had a discussion about them with my former manager (who’s originally from Dublin) and we decided that we’d probably play them a little bit if they were in pubs (as we have bandits in now) but wouldn’t go out our way to play them (ie. go into a betting shop).

    There’ve been a few interesting papers done on them too, will try and reference them – most notably one i read concentrating on "pokies and poverty" in New Zealand

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