Posted: Feb 10, 2019 8:26 pm
by Thommo
Fallible wrote:As you know, I patch up the casualties of the very badly regulated gambling industry in this country. Or try to. They will, of course, only do what they absolutely have to do, no more. My problem is not with gambling, but with the exploitation of the vulnerable which takes place day in, day out. They don't make their profits from people putting on a £5 footie bet of a Saturday. They make them from people pouring their entire wages into £100 a spin machines or online casinos, and then begging, stealing and borrowing to get it back. Which of course they mostly don't. A large part of my time is spent explaining to intelligent people that these places are there because they're profitable, and they're profitable because do it for long enough and you lose. Cigarette advertising is banned now. There are strict rules on alcohol advertising. Yet every time you turn around, you're confronted by a barrage of gaudy, infuriatingly persistent gambling ads, any time of day, every ad break, and now sponsoring programmes that have nothing at all to do with gambling. It's criminal. People are being driven to their deaths.

I know, it's something of a national disgrace. It drives me mad.

Anecdotally I remember as a younger man/teenager how many of my friends insisted they won money playing the fruities. I used to take great delight in walking them over and pointing at the (legally mandated) tab attached to each machine that displayed the average win percentage. It varied between 75% and 85% in those days. Appallingly massive house edge, yet every one of them was convinced they won more than they lost - because they remembered the big wins and not the 20 moderate losses that came in between.

The lack of speed (thanks to lobbyists) on FOBT maximum stake reform has been absurd, and I'm sure I'm teaching granny to suck eggs, but it's just the tip of the iceberg.

I think this is one of the MPs I remember hearing about in the news. The whole thing is a farce, it would be funny if it wasn't costing people their homes, families and lives: ... g_industry

ETA: Lest I sound puritanical, I'm not, I've been known to have the odd night out at the casino, where I'm willing to spend a night out's pennies on that as my entertainment. I've put a tenner on the superbowl winner several times. But there's gambling and there's problem gambling, and then there's people profiting from specifically targetting the problem gamblers - they are scum.