Bookies’ White-Coats Defending FOBTs

The bookies’ white-coats include a stable of academics from Nottingham Trent University (NTU). Professor Mark Griffiths’ most embarrassing work was a whitewash report on bookies’ player protection commissioned by the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB).

Mark’s former students include Adrian Parke, Jonathan Parke and Jayne Rigbye. Jonathan has been trying to move the agenda away from £100 a spin machines and onto machines already capped at £2 a spin.

When at the bookie funded Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT now GambleAware) he commissioned his brother Adrian. The bookies would not give Adrian a real FOBT, so he conducted a video simulation of roulette.

When this concluded that higher stakes impact decision-making ability he claimed the experiment needed to be done on a real FOBT. When Jonathan resigned as director of commissioning, his partner Jayne took over.  

Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams has argued that reducing the maximum stake on FOBTs wouldn’t reduce harm. He bills himself as a “government advisor” on gambling, but is Director of the “Betting Research Unit” at NTU.

Gala Coral, now Ladbrokes was based in Nottingham. John Kelly, Chair of Ladbrokes was also a “government advisor” on a group with Leighton before the 2005 Gambling Act. Neil Goulden, ex-Chair of Gala, was ABB Chair when Mark did his report and also RGT Chair hiring Mark’s people.  

Has NTU ever had any “anonymous” donations? Providing intellectual cover for the rich to keep on robbing the poor…. Robin Hood would be spinning in his forest!

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