Media coverage of the controversies around fixed odds betting terminals has been huge. We give only samples in these pages.
It is a good exercise to type “fixed odds betting terminals” into Google. To see news coverage click on News in the search options as below.
Click on Tools to choose a time period – any time, past year, past month, past week or past 24 hours. Also try clicking on Videos where you will find lots of Youtube and other stuff uploaded by individuals as well as professionally produced materials. It’s enlightening to look at the comments that feature on Youtube. They display very different opinions. Some of them are very angry.
Media education and English teachers will be particularly aware of why certain news stories keep appearing. Relating to FOBties, the media love controversy, whipping up strong feelings. Many of the news stories contain a strong ‘human interest’ angle, often giving the tragic stories of gamblers who have been ruined. Sadly perhaps, but true, journalists know that stories of personal tragedy appeal to readers and viewers: bad news sells. The issues around FOBties and gambling in general will relate to many reders/viewers’ personal lives.
Local media pick up from the national stories. The appeal is the same, or more, to local communities. Coverage of FOBties is easy to arrange and cheap.
That said, media coverage provides stark personal stories of addiction which would be hard to find anywhere else. Overall, the media have also reported on the facts relating to the betting industry, politics and the various separate groups, organisations and individuals who are involved.
It’s worth noting that some commentators, including leading figures in the bookmakers’ industries, have accused the mainstream media of things like ‘hysteria’. It’s another case of having to reach conclusions based on many different viewpoints.