Terrible practice IMO
What they are doing now is just a more up to date version but same evil intentions tho!
What next? Offer to pick their kids up after school? Do the weekly shop? Wash their car??
No surprise there, it's the reason bookmakers can offer such good deals on their sports betting these days as they know it will all be gobbled back up by FOBT's.
I obviously play slots online, but what really frustrates me about these is the fact that you can spin at £2 a pop & only win a maximum of £500 in one spin so the potential is only a 250x stake! They have slots such as Montezuma aswell, which we all know the potential that can have at such a stake, the winnings online would could far exceed £500 for that stake. That's just one example, but it can be far worse, 'Hi-Roller' spins @ £50 a pop for a maximum win of £500? Absolutely crazy.
If the FOBT's gave exactly the same chance of a win as online does, that chance of a 1000x, 2000x wins, then I would say that's fair & I do not see the issue with them.
Well at least now in the never ending anti FOBT campaig the BBC is bothering to include that the number of bookies has not increased and that the problem gambling rate is stable since before they were introduced.
Hey before long they will catch up to the way that the sub £2 (B3)bets have worse odds than the hated "up to" £100 stakes (B2) and that the average session loss on the B3 games is higher than the B2 game session.
Beware, once they get their B2 Ban they will be after online play.
The supervision of bets greater than £50 will have curbed the higher wagers because players don't want to have to "ask permission", they just want to play. It is likely that whilst £100 bets have fallen, they have been matched by an increase in £50 bets from high rollers who don't want a supervisor breathing down their necks. I would bet lower if I had to ask permission every time I wanted to place a higher bet.
One worrying thing that the BBC has revealed though is the conflict of interest of linking staff pay to the amount lost on FOBTs. This tempts staff to bias towards not noticing out of control gambling because doing the right thing by intervening can cut their pay, and even cause them to fear disciplinary action for "underperformance". Linking pay and bonuses to the hold on FOBTs should be banned outright. If staff are to be rewarded, it should be based on how few instances of "problem gambling" they have in their shop, as this would show they were properly supervising the players.
From my experience from playing these FOBT's on a couple of occasions at £2 a spin, I can attest that they can indeed eat money at an astonishing rate. I wouldn't mind so much, but when you realise the rate at which it eats up and the fact that your max payout is always going to be £500, it really takes the shine off playing them tbh. Personally I think the machines for Slots should be limited to £1 per spin to make the max payout at least that bit more appealing. I couldn't help but play Merlins Millions and think 'I could be playing this at home and probably get a bigger win than I can get here'. I think that's whats really put me off the whole thing. The fact that it eats your money quickly, the max win is limited, you can get more for your money online (or even in the local casino) and quite frankly, it's not really the most amazing atmosphere in the world to lose a chunk of money is it? Let's be honest, I'd much rather be playing say Book of Ra in the nearby Casino, be able to get a beer in a relaxing atmosphere as opposed to nipping into the bookies with a load of tables with betting slips and pens scattered about, unable to grab a beer and hunkered over in what feels like an old school telephone booth.
Thing is though, I can see where the bookies are coming from with their offers of tea etc. Where I used to live we had a place called Casino Slots on the High Street. Nothing fancy. Just a place with a few £500 jackpot machines, the usual Rainbow Riches and a whole array of different Pub Fruities. Whenever I used to pop in I'd always be offered a tea or coffee straight away. Not because I was a high roller or frequent customer. It was just something they did to everyone. It felt nice. It wasn't amazing tea or coffee. Just the standard PG/Nescafe. But it was the gesture that always felt nice. However the way the bookies have done it here though is completely wrong. Using such tactics to encourage people to play and hopefully lose more isn't right and surely goes against the grain of RG. If they were offering it to everyone regardless, that's cool. I'd say that's looking after your punters. But, by only doing it to select punters who you suspect can be tempted to lose even more money is totally wrong. I know it's ultimately up to the player to keep control of their gambling, but to try and entice people to potentially go over that edge just to make a bit more profit? Totally wrong. It's a practice that needs to be stopped. I'd rather stick to online or the Casino.
I tend to play at the motorway services, usually open 24/7 and no one breathing down my neck, or itching to throw me out for winning too much (not that this has been much of a problem since the mid 90's). They don't offer free drinks, but I was once offered free parking at Oxford services when I realised I had to dash with a hand full of coins after I asked a supervisor for the time, and realised I had 10 minutes to get back to the car and move on. It seems that this is an unofficial perk you can get at all Welcome Break services, because at Fleet I got chatting to the supervisor because there was a notice that suggested that "machine players" should approach them if they wanted to linger to play. It's not advertised on their website, and given that the onerous charges are designed to ensure spaces are available so as to meet their obligation to never have to turn tired drivers away through lack of spaces, it seems rather odd that they would put machine profits ahead of the safety of road users in general.
This is still one of those unadvertised perks designed to make it easy for people to keep playing, not so different to perks offered by bookies and casinos. Maybe I could even get a free room at the Travelodge
This sort of thing has been going on for years tho.
When I worked in a land based casino there was all sorts of 'keep em betting' strategies going on by our management, mostly for hi-rollers but sometimes for those who'd show up regular and spend small but often amounts.
Terrible practice IMO but would include:-
* Complimentary drinks (alcoholic and normal)
* Free Meals, including Steaks with 'the works'
* Free Even chance bets with 1x turnover
* Packs of 20 fags
* Free Taxi's to and from the casino
* Complimentary nights out, live shows, horse race meetings, coach always picked up and collected from the casino
* Free buffet nights
* 'Behind closed doors' cash back for heavier losers
What they are doing now is just a more up to date version but same evil intentions tho!
I am going to go out on a limb here and disagree completely with all three of you.
Yes FOBT's are bad, especially when bookmakers are refusing to take straight up sports bets, and they need regulation. However that does not mean offering high rollers, regular customers "perks" is bad.
Frankly as an online casino player I ENJOY getting perks. Be it gifts in the post or bonus deposit offers or whatever. Online casinos cant offer you a free drink, or a free meal, or turn up the heating for you so instead they offer a bonus. When I go to a live casino I expect some sort of comp - free parking/food/drink etc. If I was a big spender I would most definitely expect better treatment. I do not think offering these things to your good customers is bad and in honesty this is a story out of nothing intending to jump on the FOBT bandwagon. You would all complain if you spent hundreds every day at your favourite online casino and got nothing. In fact you would all go elsewhere.
That is true and annoyingly they do not let people bet on the good sports odds unless they also play the machines at the side. Max £2 or something online unless you are a total mug.
It is the regulation limiting the max prize/stake, NOT the bookies. When the machines first came out with no regulation you could win 5 figures per spin of roulette. Believe me if they had their way again it would be as you want.
My points were not really strong ones, just what I experienced whilst working in the industry.
The down side were reasonably rare exceptions, quick example would be the mid-roller who told me 'I only came in for the buffet and a quick socialise and now I've done the 1K I won last week back'
No one other than the punters fault but still not good to hear from a 'being human' point of view.