…if you want a load of poor zombies who will devour the next wage pay packet or social security benefit payment. This is the reality of fixed odds betting terminal (FOBT) and if an MP or any other politician try to tell you that legislating on these evil machines is hard because there is no information about their addictive nature, then you know you are truly dealing with a liar or even worst a fully paid stooge of a bookmaker.
There is no reason why FOBT should not be fun, just like fruit machines or any other ‘amusement with prizes’ machine. But when you can bet a £100 every 20 second, clearly you are asking for trouble in the sense that some people will actually bet £100 every 20 seconds, losing 3% every time. That is the nature of gambling with odds and a bookmaker. The odds are always in the bookmakers favour or else they would not be in business. Show me a bookmaker who has a book which is 97% under-round and not 103% over-round and I will show you a bankrupt bookie!
If you do not want to make them illegal because they are earning bookmakers a shed load of money, then, there need to be a society welfare tax or something similar. The reason for this is that although they are making a load of money for minimum cost, the bookmakers are shifting the money abroad to avoid taxes. Therefore, the government should put a hefty tax on these zombie making machines and use the money to build and maintain libraries, swimming pools and other worthwhile services for the community. Yes the tax should be ring fenced for positive society improvement schemes and not for stuff like defence or tax cuts for milionaires and billionaires.
This may seem like a typical lefty rant and you would be right. Just like the Quakers used the money from coffee and chocolate to built good stuff for society, these machines can be used to do something positive, if it is really important to keep these machines on the high street where drug dealing criminals can launder money and the silly addicted gamblers can impoverish their families.