Fixed-odds betting


Will the new boss of William Hill tackle the company’s dependency on the most addictive kind of betting?

Sir, Apropos the comments by James Henderson, of William Hill (Aug 2), the betting industry’s problems stem from a single product: fixed-odds betting terminals. FOBTs offer casino games such as roulette at high speed — they can take bets of up to £100 every 20 seconds. They have led to increased crime, abuse by money launderers and a rise in gambling addiction. They account for over half the betting industry’s profits, and over 80 per cent of its turnover.

FOBTs are the most addictive form of gambling, and bookmakers like their fixed rate of return — “the house always wins” instead of the risks of race and sports betting.

Mr Henderson’s predecessor at William Hill, Ralph Topping, oversaw the unwelcome transformation. We hope Mr Henderson will steer William Hill in a different direction.

Derek Webb, Adrian Parkinson
& Matt Zarb-Cousin

Campaign for Fairer Gambling

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