How to Reach Westminster Politicians

If you want to reach Westminster’s politicians there is a clear winner.

Talk to MessageSpace about sponsored editorial and advertising opportunities on Guido Fawkes, the website that reaches more MPs, with six times as many readers as PoliticsHome. Call MessageSpace on  020 7608 1140 or email sales@messagespace.co.uk.

Get your message in front of Westminster and Whitehall…

Retiring Gambling Commission Chair Failings Exposed

philip graf 7

By special reporter Fill Graph

Britain’s betting shops are now the “most violent in the world” was the Daily Mirror headline last week, following the start of a Parliamentary inquiry into “crack cocaine” gambling machines.

With 999 calls from betting shops reaching record levels, attacks on machines and staff spiraling out of control – all in the same week the gambling regulator revealed that losses on the now infamous FOBTs had reached a record high at £1.7 billion.

Digging deeper the actual amount lost on betting shop FOBTs has increased in the last 18-months by £130 million or 8.3%. So bookies’ profits from the crack cocaine machines are increasing per machine and per shop.

Yet, over this same 18-month period betting shop customers have been bombarded with “responsible gambling” messages. They’ve been “protected” by a bookmaker established and funded watch dog that has so far failed to bark at anything. They have seen government led measures pushing them to sign up to loyalty cards allowing bookmakers to pursue them for more money by email and text message. So much so – since 2012 the bookmakers who are crying poverty over tighter regulations and higher taxes have only managed to spend £0.5 billion on TV marketing.

As the bookies FOBT bandwagon rolls on, so does the retiring Chair of the Gambling Commission Philip Graf, who will be speaking at the Royal Society of Arts on Tuesday July 19. His latest statistics, whilst trying to mask the rising figures behind the FOBT juggernaut steam-rolling our high streets, can’t hide the fact that every measure to tackle the issue under his Chairmanship of the regulator, has failed and failed miserably.

As Fill Graph says “Commission statistics do not highlight the FOBT truth – that more FOBT profits mean more FOBT addicts and more FOBT crime!”

Sponsored by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling

FOBTs are not FUN – Stop Now!

fobt-fun

Wanda Goldwag, the Chair and Independent Standards Commissioner of the Senet Group, says – “When the Fun stops – Stop” and the tagline of her apparently independent Senet Group is “Promoting Responsible Gambling Standards”

Wherever does this “fun” concept come from? Since when was gambling a laughing matter or a kids’ activity?

The Senet Group only promotes standards relating to advertising and marketing. Of the £3,000,000 funding provided by its members (Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, William Hill and Scotbet), £2,251,000 was spent on “advertising and communications” out of a total spend of £2,677,000. There is no accounting for the money they spent on “aggressive” lobbying of Scottish politicians – coincidentally who are about to clamp down on FOBTs!

There were 35 complaints to the Senet Group in 2015 of which only one was upheld but no sanction applied. This was because human error caused the “responsible gambling messages” to be below the percentage standard for window dressing!

Ms Goldwag has about as much authority over the bookies as a hen in a fox’s den. Her CEO, Ron Findlay, also quit recently. Clearly the fun stopped for him.

Meanwhile all gambling sectors combined only contributed £6.5 million towards gambling research, education and treatment in 2015. Clearly the bookies are having more fun spending their loose change on Wanda.

How does Ms Goldwag profess to be independent when her salary is paid by the bookies, the standards she sets are agreed with the bookies and when the complaints procedure does not result in sanctions?

There is no evidence that “responsible gambling messages” have had any impact on reducing the totality of FOBT harm. Surely a better approach would be to deter anyone from FOBT gambling by promoting “FOBTs are not FUN – Stop Now!”

Content produced and sponsored by Stop the FOBTS

“Bonus King” Fred’s flunking Betfred

Bet fred 2

A strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past” is the dictionary definition of déjà vu that Sarah Harrison, the recently appointed Gambling Commission CEO may have looked up this week.

Since her tenure at the gambling regulator began she has walloped Coral bookmakers with a hefty fine for failing to “prevent money laundering and problem gambling”. She then booted Paddy Power up the proverbial for “encouraging a problem gambler to keep betting until he lost five jobs, his home and access to his children” and last week her handbag landed on Fred Done who was “found to have failed to meet his obligations on social responsibility and the prevention of money laundering”.

No wonder the Queen has just bestowed an MBE on the “consumer rights champion”!

Actually, that feeling of déjà vu goes back long before she even arrived at the Commission. In 2013 Ladbrokes copped a “telling off” for allowing money laundering in their shops in the North West of England. That was just before a Ladbrokes security manager revealed cover-ups on children gambling, criminality and money laundering and Coral have old form as well having been caught allowing almost £1 million to be laundered through their shops in the north east, again by a pathological problem gambler.

The new get tough regulator has ordered all monies made from the illegal proceeds be returned, donations are made to responsible gambling initiatives and costs are reimbursed.

Fred’s failures are so endemic that he has been ordered to appoint an “independent third party” to sort it all out. With Fred’s track record of linking his staff pay to the crack cocaine machines, offering 39.9% pay day loans to his own workers and then sacking them at Christmas, it will need to be a very “independent” third party or we may have déjà vu all over again.

Punters Bet Big on Remain

cameron paddypower

Since Cameron’s Conservative Party claimed a shock majority in last year’s general election, we’ve experienced an intense build-up to the UK’s European Union Membership Referendum. This week, voters of the UK will either maintain or reject its EU member state status after more than 40 years of trade and co-operation. Up to lunchtime on Monday, the odds say 1/4 to vote In (Remain campaign), and 3/1 to vote Out (Brexit) – driven by a significant new surge of bets on Remain.

Paddy Power has found that high-stakes punters seemed cagey about taking the Leave odds until recently, even at generous odds like the 9/2 that was available at the end of May this year.

In mid-June, two big polling outfits reported 7% leads for Leave when excluding undecided voters. This represented a marked success for the Leave camp, because decided voters for Exit were growing whilst Remain numbers were static. Even then customers appeared to be reluctant to accept the trend. We struggled to sell Exit at 3.5 for days. We even attracted several five-figure sums on Remain at odds between 1.18 and 1.22 during those days.

Eventually there was a take up of the Leave odds as the delayed effect of the polls was finally felt, but considering the consistency of the apparent popularity for Leave in the polls and the press, the odds did not settle as short as one might expect. In the last seven days, Exit odds dropped as low as 6/4 before stabilising at 9/4.

The big guns are out now, and punters have wagered a whopping £500k this. Two single bets of £30k were placed on Remain at odds of 1/3 – the betting support for Remain is huge and shows no signs of faltering.

Read more here…

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

A man was seen running down Buckingham Palace road last week, with his pants on fire. With deceit fueled flames bursting out of his pants, the man believed to be Malcolm George the CEO of the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB), had been caught out yet again telling porkies to our Parliamentary representatives.

Just as lobbying smoothie, Mr George, had been telling MPs how betting shops are the safest places on the high street (where customers are looked after better than children at a crèche and staff with master’s degrees in gambling addiction tend to their every need), that upstart paper, the Guardian, stepped in to say, “Liar, liar pants on fire”.

In a hefty two-part piece focused on the “dangerous world of British betting shops”,  the Guardian laid bare the brutal and often violent reality of today’s betting shops – not quite the picture Mr George and his band of merry members had been painting to MPs down the road at Westminster.

Describing in detail the horrific murder and rape of betting shop staff; the violence and intimidation directed at shop workers by punters high on gambling’s “crack cocaine”, the newspaper brought forward worker after worker speaking anonymously of the daily terror they face manning the tills. All spoke of their fear – not just of punters who have lost their house, home and family to the “crack machines”, but of the interrogation and dismissal they would face if caught telling a journalist the truth.

The truth about betting shops is something the ABB CEO doesn’t want to face up to, but Members of Parliament have seen through his barrage of lies and are about to bring him and his members in for interrogation. Step forward the bookmakers’ latest nemesis, Carolyn Harris, and an All Party Group set to throw a big spotlight right on the bookies’ shenanigans. Get the fire extinguishers ready Malcolm!

Content produced and sponsored by Stop the FOBTS

FOBT Crime, Lone Staffing, Mergers, Bonuses and the Ladbrokes CEO

ladbrokes-10

It’s has been a nerve wracking time at the Ladbrokes head office on Rayners Lane in Harrow recently.

With uncertainties around the multibillion-pound Gala Coral merger and tough negotiations on how many shops the combined group will have to grudgingly sell to their competitors, what better way to keep you going than a big fat share reward bonus.  That’s ¾ million shares for the CEO and over half a million between his trusty lieutenants.  

You can imagine the shock as the shares landed on CEO Jim Mullen’s desk accompanied by a copy of the Daily Mirror article declaring, Ladbrokes staff raped and killed as firm saves millions of pounds by forcing staff to work alone.

Former Ladbrokes head of health and safety, Bill Bennett, who the Mirror revealed has turned whistleblower following incidents of rape and murder, alleged: “Ladbrokes chose to prioritise profit over the health and safety of its employees.” After being rocked two years ago with claims by a former Security Manager that incidents of criminality and children gambling had been covered up and of money laundering investigations carried out by the Police and regulator, Mr Mullen must have felt he has earned his bonus reward. Then along comes another whistle blower with more revelations.

This latest iceberg to hit the Ladbrokes ship, which insiders tell us is just the tip, has forced the ex-News International Director to try and trash his former employee’s reputation saying that after 27 years’ service he was being dismissed owing to a lack of confidence in his ability to fulfill his role.

As this latest iceberg continues to shred Ladbrokes reputation, Mr Mullen and his colleagues will be holding on to those shares very tightly indeed while his future colleagues at Coral look on with trepidation.

Content produced and sponsored by Stop the FOBTS

Get Your “Brexit: The Movie” Premiere Tickets

brexit-premiere

Guido will be wearing his black-tie tomorrow (Wednesday) and hitting the red carpet in Leicester Square for the premiere of “Brexit: the Movie”. You too can be on the the Eurosceptic A-list…

Get Your "Brexit the Movie" Ticket Here!

A few tickets are still available from Ticket Source for £20, and doors are open from 7.30 pm for 8.00 pm. (Black tie is optional.)

Get them while you can Ticket Source

Bookies, MPs and FOBT Horse-Turd

horse 2

Last week, the Gambling Commission published a damning indictment of Gala Coral. Gary Watts, a problem gambler, had stolen over £800,000 which he had lost to the bookmaker, but they had failed to realise that he was a problem gambler engaged in money laundering.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Not the First Time Whittingdale Has Enjoyed the “Perks of the Job” a Little Too Much!

Strip Club 3

It has been revealed that John Whittingdale and Philip Davies did not declare a night out courtesy of the Lap Dancing Association before their select committee opposed a crackdown against the spread of lap dancing clubs.

Whilst other members of the committee saw little value in the visit, Whittingdale and Davies did not pass up the opportunity for a lads’ night out to the lap dancing club “For Your Eyes Only” before heading to another club for dinner.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Bookies “Legal Notice” Backfires

sponsore-post
Paddy power 29 march 2

The legal toys were definitely thrown out of the pram recently when the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) brought in their hot shot legal team, Schillings, to throw their dummies and rattles at every media outlet in the country.

Telling journalists that their members, who own around 80% of all betting shops, “don’t encourage problem gambling” and that to imply such was “defamatory”, the media legal desks could be heard quaking right across Fleet Street.[…]

+ READ MORE +

VACANCIES – MPs Urgently Needed To Help Bookies…

Sponsored PostPaddy power 2

A week after the “social responsibility” credentials of bookmakers had been demolished by the actions of Paddy Power pursuing and pushing a problem gambler into abject poverty, Malcolm George the CEO of their trade association (ABB) told his members “In everything we do, every action we take, we must ensure that we are focused on our number one priority – protecting shops…”.[…]

+ READ MORE +

A Hibernating Sloth Has No FOBT Power

Sponsored post

image-3

A government minister with the energy of a hibernating sloth approached the Dispatch Box in the House of Lords last week to push back on the continuing media and political tsunami engulfing the government, the bookmakers and their £100 spin crack cocaine machines.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Remote Gambling Tax to Be Raised In Budget?

Sponsored post

George Osbourne Paddy Power

A point of consumption tax on “remote gambling” (the political word for online or mobile) was introduced in December 2014 and set at 15%. This is the lowest rate of tax on any form of UK gambling.

Many Tories are unhappy with the remote gambling sector.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Anti-Crime Boss in Bed with Evidence Deniers

Sponsored post

Guido

Keith Bristow QPM is the retired Director-General of the UK Crime Agency. He has just been appointed Chair of the Gambling Anti-Money Laundering Group (GAMLG), a new body established by the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) and the Remote Gambling Association.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Back-Scratching – the bookies and the Politician

Sponsored Post

JP_DV sponsored fobt

John Penrose MP should have had a very good understanding of FOBTs, as when he was at DCMS he was responsible for arranging the sale of the Tote to Betfred, a bargain for Fred Done, but a disaster for Tote staff.[…]

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn at his leadership launch:

“Labour is stronger.”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

MATTHEW ELLIOTT ON WHY LEAVE WON MATTHEW ELLIOTT ON WHY LEAVE WON
OSBORNE GIVEN “SH*T” ROOM WITH NO VIEW OSBORNE GIVEN “SH*T” ROOM WITH NO VIEW
5,000,000 SIGNATURES: FEW POLICY CHANGES 5,000,000 SIGNATURES: FEW POLICY CHANGES
CORBYNISTAS USED CODE TO HIDE CASH-FOR-VOTES PLOT CORBYNISTAS USED CODE TO HIDE CASH-FOR-VOTES PLOT
First Lady Michelle Obama Carpool Karaoke First Lady Michelle Obama Carpool Karaoke
PMQ’s Sketch PMQ’s Sketch
How to Reach Westminster Politicians How to Reach Westminster Politicians
OWEN SMITH’S 999 EMERGENCY OWEN SMITH’S 999 EMERGENCY
MELANIA BORROWS FROM MICHELLE MELANIA BORROWS FROM MICHELLE
MAY: I WOULD PRESS NUCLEAR BUTTON MAY: I WOULD PRESS NUCLEAR BUTTON
New Uber Rival Tries to Get Unions Onside New Uber Rival Tries to Get Unions Onside
SMITH’S £200 BILION “NEW DEAL” PLEDGE BUSTED BY MCDONNELL SMITH’S £200 BILION “NEW DEAL” PLEDGE BUSTED BY MCDONNELL
CONGRATULATIONS MR AND MRS UMUNNA CONGRATULATIONS MR AND MRS UMUNNA
UKIP SEEKING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF “OILY” SMITH UKIP SEEKING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF “OILY” SMITH
FALLON WELCHES ON £1,000 PIERS MORGAN BET FALLON WELCHES ON £1,000 PIERS MORGAN BET
OWEN SMITH: IT WOULD BE “TEMPTING” TO BLOCK BREXIT OWEN SMITH: IT WOULD BE “TEMPTING” TO BLOCK BREXIT
NEW JUNIOR MINISTER APPOINTMENTS NEW JUNIOR MINISTER APPOINTMENTS
Social Media’s Filter Bubble Driving Political Anger Social Media’s Filter Bubble Driving Political Anger
Sun Names Elton John Sun Names Elton John
LABOUR MPS MAKE COMPLETE ANKARAS OF THEMSELVES LABOUR MPS MAKE COMPLETE ANKARAS OF THEMSELVES