Lie Detector Test UK is often in the front line of fighting gambling addiction. Our clients come to us usually because friends or family members want to prove that the gamblers in their lives are in denial. It’s no coincidence that we have more clients taking lie detector tests in Glasgow as the city is top of the list for this type of addiction. Edinburgh comes in 6th.
Last week Tracey Crouch, Sports Minister resigned from her position due to a delay in the government reducing the stake on FOBTs (fixed odds betting terminals). She had long campaigned for the maximum bet to be reduced from £100 to £2. In Philip Hammond’s recent budget this legislation will be deferred until October 2019. We absolutely understand why the legislation is important.
What are FOBTs?
Installed in betting shops all over the UK, fixed odds betting terminals offer a variety of electronic games. The machines are usually set to a maximum bet of £100. When the machines first became available in 1999 they offered a few high margin games. However, amendments to legislation in 2012 (the introduction of gross tax on profits) permitted the gambling industry to install new low margin games on the FOBTs including roulette. This prompted more betting shops to install them.
It is estimated that there are around 33,000 of these terminals operational in betting shops nationwide. They pay out on fixed odds depending on the result of the game with a maximum win of £500.
What is the problem with FOBTs?
There has been concern about gambling problems related to FOBTs since 2003. One charity, GamCare, began receiving a few calls in 2003 on its helpline and is now taking up to 50 calls a month from those gambling on the terminals.
The Gordon Moody Association which provides support to gamblers, described the terminals as ”the crack cocaine of gambling”.
The main problem with the machines is that you can place a bet every 20 seconds. If you imagine betting £100 every 20 seconds it’s not difficult to understand how that could lead to a problem.
There have been several suicides which have been attributed to FOBTs across the UK.
Lee Murphy, a training coordinator from Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, committed suicide in 2014 having battled with his gambling addiction. Losing up to £30,000 annually the final straw came when he lost £1000 in 20 minutes in casino. He was aware of his addiction but took out short term loans to finance it. He was 37 years old.
Carpenter, Ryan Myers, from Huyton in Liverpool hanged himself in 2014 after losing £500 on a terminal. He had also taken out short term loans and run up thousands of pounds in gambling debts.
BBC Panorama subsequently released a documentary highlighting the problem of gambling addiction affecting around 750,000 people in the UK.
There are many other tragedies but so far there is no proven link or acknowledgment that FOBTs are directly responsible for gambling addiction.
Lie detector tests in Glasgow and nationwide
You may wonder how polygraph tests can help. Addiction to anything is never easy to admit. Most addicts are ashamed of their addiction or deny they are addicted. The first step in overcoming a problem is to admit you have it.
Mainly our services are ordered by those who are suffering due to the addiction. Our clients are often wives, husbands or close friends concerned for the wellbeing of the addict. Often they have suffered the effects of excessive gambling to the point of despair. We have carried out lie detectors test in Glasgow on a regular basis for many years. When a gambler admits to having a problem, the recovery period begins.
Sometimes the polygraph test helps and gamblers go on to rebuild their lives and restore trust in those around them. Occasionally the draw of the machines is too strong. It is for this reason that we believe change in legislation is necessary.