LOBBYING AND CAMPAIGNS

A lobby is a group which seeks to influence legislation in parliament. Industries, organisations, charities and citizen groups are among the lobbysts. Usually such groups also mount campaigns to influence public opinion. An excellent resource to explore lobbyists is Politics Home . On their site, is included a Member Directory . There you can scroll through a very varied list of some of the lobbying groups. Of particular interest to this site is The Association of British Bookmakers which lobbies in defence of fixed odds betting terminals, and The Campaign for Fairer Gambling which opposes them.

What isn’t represented here is the ‘citizen action’ of many individuals who write to their MPs, start local campaigns, write to newspapers, express their views through social media and so on. It’s important to point out too that many local councils have lobbied government to address what they see as the severe problems caused by some forms of high street gambling. As indicated in our look at Parliament and Law there are many campaigning MPs seeking to restrict or ban FOBTies.

As a project of The Campaign for Fairer Gambling, Stop the FOBTs is the most prominent campaign against Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. It arouses its own controversies since the founder is from the betting industries and is charged by bookmakers with condemningthem for commercial advantage.

A site that campaigns generally about gambling, including about FOBTies is Gambling Watch UK. The founder of this is Professor Jim Orford, an academic, described on the website as having  “researched and written extensively about addiction and has a special interest in problem gambling. He served as an academic adviser for the British Gambling Prevalence Surveys of 2000, 2007 and 2010. Amongst his publications is the book An Unsafe Bet? The Dangerous Rise of Gambling and the Debate We Should Be Having, published in 2011.”

Rethink Gambling is a campaigning site which is packed full of useful information and links.