After 2 and a half years sucking up to and helping to lay down the life of his party to save the Tory party, Nick Clegg has decided to do something for society. He and his colleagues have proposed a change to the law that will restrict the limit that can be bet on those damn fixed odds betting terminal otherwise known as ‘roulette machines’.
As you probably gathered I hate these things with a passion. I am all for people taking responsibility for their own lives but when they are being seduced into losing 3% of their bet with every spin which seem to run at 3 a minute then people will have to be protected from themselves. Although I am not what you call a wise gambler, but, I do know the odds and these machines are designed for people who have not got a clue about odds, so will bet on emotions and belief that they can out think a machine.
Do not get me wrong, not all addicts are clueless about odds and percentages. I know really clued up guys who seem to perform really when on these machines, but, I am not with them during all their betting escapades, so cannot tell when they are on a down swing and what they do, but I do have a clue.
The proposal to limit the betting to £2 do seem rather small and may lead to betting shops who take most of their money from these machines to drop in revenue. But, the money and heartache it will save families around the country must be a good thing. The joke that FOBT’s are crack cocaine for gamblers is a well earned joke. The high you get from each spin is an intense one.
Should I as a libertarian be in favour of controlling the behaviour of individuals? Yes because I am not a complete libertarian, just like most libertarians I have prejudices and if all libertarians are truly honest they also have prejudices. So my prejudice against FOBT’s is not absolute but is enough to be in favour of restrictions for the good of society. On this one ‘I agree with Nick’.