Television



A BBC Panorama programme about FOBties was aired on 12 September 2016. It will be available in the UK on the BBC’s iPlayer for a while. The programme description is:

Wendy Bendel’s partner killed himself after struggling with a 20-year gambling addiction. In a confession he wrote for Wendy, he singled out the high-stakes, high-frequency fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) found in bookmakers across the UK.

Wendy embarks on a journey to find out what it is about the design of the machines that makes them so addictive and sees evidence that they can affect the brains of long-term gamblers. She discovers the billions they generate has divided the industry, with former insiders now accusing the bookies of putting profits before people.

The programme features interviews with several people whose lives were ruined, they claim, by addiction to FOBties. Written responses from the Association of British Bookmakers are given to challenge the view that the machines are dangerous. An addictions expert conducts an experiment which you can see here.

As with newspapers, local and regional television has also taken up the subject as in this BBC Look North feature: