So the maximum bet on fixed odds machines has tumbled to £2. The betting industry are telling us it will cause the loss of thousands of jobs. What do you think?
I work in a being shop and the vast, vast majority of people already play at £2 a spin or lower. The only thing this will mean is that roulette will go or will slightly change format to get through a loophole.
£2 maximum spins will actually lower the category of the machines (currently B2) and will mean bookies will have to pay less in taxes, industry dividends and levies and will also mean that there can be more than 4 machines on the premesis.
Yes, if this has the intended effect there may well be job losses. Like most infrequent gamblers I see little harm in the occasional flutter. Problem gamblers are a small minority. However they are responsible for 80% of the industry's income. These fixed odds machines have been show to be particularly troubling. If these changes do indeed reduce the impact on people with gambling addictions then it will hit the betting industry in the balance sheet. Maybe one of the 7 betting shops in my local high street will have to close. If the closed a bookies and opened a bookshop I wouldn't be too upset.
Perhaps a bit cynical of me but I doubt the betting industry's real concern is over job losses.
Of course people who want to gamble will continue to do so but the industry has grown enormously in recent years. More people are gambling than ever before.
The gambling industry is notoriously corrupt
We used to drop a tanner (6d) in the slot machine after buying a round. If it won we pocketed it and took the round just bought to be drunk. I had to meet an Australian addict, a woman on the boat from Singapore to Freemantle to learn the problem of addiction. The whole issue points straight back at government that allows it.
There are many good points expressed here. I see problem gambling as a complex problem. But if this measure saves a few people from ruin, then I applaud it.
Yes, those punters who are hard core will find other things to bet on but won't the opportunity to make stupid bet after stupid bet be disrupted in many or most cases? If the rush obtained from taking many high risks back to back Is not there, then doesn't that mean fewer or no people will become addicted to it. After all you can't become addicted to something you can't try.
As for the jobs that will be lost, I think that morally, compensation is due from those that benefited from the profits. If nothing is forthcoming, it shows the moral character of the companies concerned. It's a shame that the government did not address this in the legislation.
It might also save a lot of people from getting into serious trouble. A chap I used to work with had big problems with gambling ended up stealing a "significant sum" (as the police put it) to find his fixed odds machine addiction. He got caught and was sacked only a few months before his partner had a baby; two years down the line with a criminal record, he's still looking for a new job.