eprints.lincoln.ac.uk

eprints.lincoln.ac.uk

100 years of gambling machines: from the Liberty Bell to the Fixed Odds Betting Terminal. Aims To compare the impact of earlier kinds of gambling machines with that of modern Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (dubbed the crack cocaine of gambling). To show that the particular role of machines has been somewhat overlooked in histories of gambling cultures and of problem gambling in the UK.

To assess the merits of Actor Network theory for understanding factors which work across both space and time to influence interactions between gamblers and gambling machines. Reasons for the study In a study of gamblers who played Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTS) the theme of a problem gambling career emerged clearly. The Gambling Commission suggest that some 2 million

people may now be at risk of problem gambling in the UK (Connolly et al 2015). Gambling Careers The first machines. The development of the fruit machine. 1887 - a gambling machine invented in New York 1897 - Feys key development

Imports of large numbers of fruit machines to the UK 1920s onwards Are gambling machines more risky than other forms of gambling? Contemporary answer = YES. Earlier concerns? https://youtu.be/SkNau9iQl-A Despite being presented with evidence, The Home Office, the National Anti Gambling league (NAGL), Royal Commissions on Gambling Mass Observation, and a number of historians did not perceive any particular problem with machines.

The role of the home office It is abundantly clear, with hindsight, that the Home Office had little inkling either of the attractiveness of these machines to the player or of the profitability to their operators' (Miers,2004 p121). Anti gambling campaigns National Anti Gambling League (NAGL) - created 1890. Seebohm Rowntree

Rowntree -driving force behind NAGL. Set out his views clearly in Betting and Gambling:A National Evil (1906). Rowntree Poverty researchers (including Booth and Rowntree) were well aware of the place of gambling in working class culture, but were not always realistic about how to respond to this.

Rowntree, -1952 study English Life and Leisure the arcades are tawdry and sordid and even apart from the actual gambling their atmosphere is by no means that to which a prudent nation would desire a substantial portion of its young

people to be exposed ( p141). Mass Observation The dissatisfaction with the uses of Mass Observation as sociological method remains prevalent today with many social researchers uncomfortable with the ungeneralisable and unrepresentative nature of the data. However(MO) offers a unique insight into the complexities and intimacies of everyday, mass

behavior. and facilitates a unique opportunity for historical comparison of in-depth qualitative data. (Casey, 2014. Mass Gambling' from 1947 to 2011: Controversies and Pathologies) Mass Observation In 1947 Mass Observation study. Participants were asked about six types of gambling (pools, dogs, horses,card games, raffles, crosswords etc). No

mention of one armed bandits, or fruit machines. Evidence of harm relating to gambling machines Mass Gambling Report 1948 miners and their families in Minetown have an exceptionally wide range of gambling interests. 1951 Royal Commission By 1951 anti gambling campaigners did begin to focus on particular

aspects of gambling, rather than maintaining that gambling per se was evil and immoral. Strident views were presented to the Royal Commission that gambling machines were harming children. Betting and Gaming Act 1960 Ultimately, The 1951 Royal commission was not unduly concerned about gaming and machines and legislation which followed was much more permissive in relation to those machines.

"We therefore consider that the object of gambling legislation should be to interfere as little as possible with individual liberty to take part in the various forms of gambling, but to impose such restrictions as are desirable and practicable to discourage or prevent excess ( Royal Commission,1951,p55,186). Betting and Gaming Act 1960 - Removed many of the class based distinctions and ineffective measures contained in previous legislation. Amusements with Prizes

1960s - local authorities had licensing functions for a number of types of machine, including those termed 'amusements with prizes. Technology Introducing the FOBT The introduction of the FOBT in 2001 was related to tax changes rather

than any further technological development. FOBTs form a particular category of machine which have allowed high stakes betting (up to 100 every few seconds). They are available in high street betting shops and casinos.

Other types of machines available in many locations. The focus on FOBTs As Histories of Gambling Histories of gambling Chinn- Better Betting with a Decent Feller (2004) Dixon - From Prohibition to Regulation: Bookmaking,

Anti-gambling and the Law (1991) Clapson -A Bit of a Flutter: Popular Gambling and English Society, c. 1923-1961 Mckibbin Working class gambling in Britain 1880-1939 (1979) Munting- Economic and social history of gambling (1996) Particular references to machines are limited. Most detailed accounts in: Miers - Regulating commercial gambling (2004).

Actor Network Theory (ANT) A theory that is not a theory Latour (1996) suggested that ANT is not so much a theory which explains why or how networks operate; rather it is a method of how to understand relationships in a pragmatic manner.

One of the major ideas is that actions/behaviours are best understood as arising from interactions as actors influence each other and struggle for power. What is particularly different and useful about ANT is that non human entities can also be understood as 'actors' or in the parlance of ANT 'actants' if they influence behaviour.

Actor Network Theory Actor Network Theory Various applications to studies of gambling machines e.g Livingstone (2010) - Australia e.g Schull (2012) -USA ANT concept of inscription - behaviour becomes inscribed by the learned expectations.

Gambling Networks Gamblers, and their families Industry Policy makers -policy documents, and law

Machines Locations - Arcades, betting shops Tracing the networks Impact of The Volsted Prohibition act (1920) Import of large numbers of machines from Us to UK. These machines became very successful for operators and very widely used. Inevitably this led to more attention from the authorities. It is estimated that in London numbers increased in London from 140 to over 8000 in 1926. In that year the chief constable of Brighton banned their use and a machine in

the town which payed out sticks of Brighton rock was deemed illegal. Tracing the networks By the 1920's and 1930s amusement arcades were firmly established as a core component of the seaside holiday, in Brighton and many other resorts. They featured a broad range of fully automated machines that included the well known cranes (also known as grabbers) and the first form of automated gambling machine, commonly known as 'one armed bandits'. 1926 saw the formation of the trade body- the British Automatic

Machine Operators Society (BAMOS). They aimed to take collective action on behalf of operators of different machines to challenge legal actions. BAMOS later morphed into BACTA - the British Amusement and Catering Trades Association. Tracing the networks BACTA - Providing funding for studies of machine gambling (e.g. Bentall et al 1989 The Use of Arcade Gambling Machines:demographic characteristics of users and patterns of use,in British Journal of Addiction).The APPG on FOBTs was

influential in the campaign to have the maximum allowable stake on FOBTs reduced from 100 to 2. In 2017 this group were censured for breaching parliamentary standards for not declaring funding from BACTA which assisted their investigation and report into FOBTs. Concerning children The United Kingdom is unique, in the western world, in allowing children to play on gaming machines.This is largely an historical accident following the existence of seaside

amusement arcades which included simple mechanical games.We believe that children are a vulnerable part of the community for whom it is right to prescribe special rules (Gambling Review Body, 1999, p4). We are persuaded by the weight of evidence that children and young people are especially vulnerable to the risks of becoming problem gamblers (Gambling Review Body, 1999, p90). Why did the review body not recommend more restrictions on access to gambling machines by children?In their own words, because of intense lobbying by industry.

Conclusions The particular emphasis on the potential harms of different types of gambling is a recent development. Modern technology has made machines more immersive/addictive, but evidence exists that they have always been problematic for some. Before 1970s little specific concern, from regulators, anti gambling campaigners,researchers, about gambling machines, but earlier evidence exists of particular links between machines and harm.

Conclusions Gambling Machines have occupied a unique place in UK culture, due to their widespread existence in arcades (in seaside and urban/ city settings),and their availability to children. Problem Gambling Careers which begin with childhood use of machines, and then move to FOBTs may be common. Actor Network theory helps elucidate how people interact

with non human actors - it can also help to elucidate how elements of networks can have influence across time. References Chapman,E (2013) Twilight of the Seaside Amusement Arcade. Available at: http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/24664/3/Context.%20paper.pdf

Casey, E.(2014). Mass Gambling' from 1947 to 2011: Controversies and Pathologies Connolly et al (2015) Gambling behaviour in Great Britain in 2015 Evidence from England, Scotland and Wales NatCen Social Research

Department for Culture Media and Sport (2001) Gambling Review Body Report. London, TSO Ernkvist (2009) Creating Player Appeal: Management of Technological Innovation and Changing Pattern of Industrial Leadership in the U.S. Gaming Machine Manufacturing Industry, 1965-2005. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273411521_Creating_Player_Appeal_Managem ent_of_Technological_Innovation_and_Changing_Pattern_of_Industrial_Leadership_in_th

e_US_Gaming_Machine_Manufacturing_Industry_1965-2005 Latour, B. (1996). On Actor-Network Theory: A Few Clarifications. Soziale Welt References Mass Observation (1948) Mass Gambling: a report prepared by Mass Observation, report

no 2560, commissioned by the National League for Education Against Gambling. London Miers,D. (2004) Regulating Commercial Gambling. Oxford, Oxford University Press Royal Commission on Betting,Lotteries and Gaming (1951). Royal Commission on Betting,Lotteries and Gaming Final Report. London, The Home Office

Rowntree, S (1906) Betting and Gambling: A National Evil. London, Macmillan Rowntree, B.S and Lavers,G.R (1951) English Life and Leisure. London, Longmans

Schull,N.D. (2012) Addiction by design. Princeton, Princeton University Press Thrift, Nigel (2004). Remembering the Technological Unconscious by Foregrounding Knowledges of Position. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 22, no. 1 (2004)

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