24.012018“Crack Cocaine of Gambling” Takes a Signifiant Hit
Fixed-Online Betting Terminals (FOBT) have caused a lot of controversy in the gambling community over the last few years. They have caused an epidemic of gambling addiction. But as the problems have increased and the number of FOBTs have increased along with them, anti-gambling groups and problem gambling organizations have been trying their best to stop the problem.
They haven’t had a great deal of success, but a recent law change could make a huge difference. If FOBTs are the “Crack cocaine of gambling” as the media likes to suggest, then this new law change could be the antidote that helps countless problem gamblers to detox.
What the New Change Is
In the past players on these machines have been allowed to spend hundreds of pounds a minute playing these machines, with addicts feeding £50 notes into the machine every few seconds and losing thousands of pounds at the end of the day. This proposed change calls for the limits to be dropped to just £2, which means it will be difficult for even the most reckless of problem gamblers to lose more than a few hundred pounds over the course of a day.
It’s still a lot of money, but short of stopping these machines from operating entirely (which wouldn’t be fair on those that use them responsibly and on the people who manufacture and profit from them) it seems like the best solution for all. After all, gambling is not the issue here, it’s the fact that these machines make it easy for players with problems to risk every penny that they have, often taking their paycheck straight to the bookies to blow every single penny.
What the New Changes Means
The law has not yet come into effect but it seems highly likely. So much so that the stock markets have reacted in kind, with shares in William Hill and Ladbrokes Coral, two of the companies that profit the most from these machines, losing as much as 15% following the announcement.
This change will likely have a negative knock-on effect across the offline gambling world and may cause big gambling brands to further invest in their online casinos and sportsbooks. The only negative from the neutral point of view is the fact that many high street bookies may close. No one is going to shed a tear if the likes of Ladbrokes loses a little money, but when you consider that they opened many new bookmakers just so they could take advantage of the popularity of FOBTs, it could trigger countless closures that takes thousands of jobs away from local communities and leave many families without paychecks to support themselves.
On the flip side, the amount of gambling addicts who are driven to despair because of these machines will now drastically decrease, and that’s definitely a good thing.
Will it Hurt me?
It’s unlikely. If you restrict play to real money online casinos, then you may actually benefit from it because of the extra focus being shifted to online play. If you work at a bookmakers or you love to enter the bookmakers and play these machines, then it will have an impact.
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