In the recent months, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in the UK and every day brings new development of the conversation. Many people are strongly opposing them as one of the most addictive types of gambling which has led to bad consequences for players in the country. Jim Mullen, Chief Executive Officer of Ladbroker Coral, a leading betting company, has stated in an interview for The Racing Post, that lowering of the maximum wagering stake of FOBTs, is going to seriously affect the business. According to him, the lowering which was proposed as a problem gambling measure will lead to the dismissal of thousands of employees of the company.
Ladbrokes Coral is the leading betting company in the UK and as such it operates a large number of FOBTs located across the country. The betting shops are easily accessible by anyone of age and this gives people predisposed to addictive tendencies a chance to develop one to wagering. Mr. Mullen was interviewed by the British Racing Association when he commented on the possible outcome of such lowering of the maximum stake. At the moment players can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds, which is quite a large sum of money on its own, but in the long run, it can lead to devastating losses for the individual with gambling addiction.
It was proposed that this maximum stake should be reduced to £2 instead, which is considered a much reasonable bet in the community and is most likely to reduce the amount of money which players could lose and the impact this is going to have on their lives, their relatives, and their close friends. Ladbrokes Coral, however, does not seem to agree with this proposition and Mr. Mullen stated that this reducing will seriously harm the amount of revenue the company is going to receive, which could potentially result in more than 9,000 people losing their jobs.
This type of attitude demonstrated by the Chief Executive focuses solely on the business side of the problem, which is what concerns the betting operator. The individuals who might lose their jobs due to insufficient revenue are all people in their most productive years and even if this turn of events happens they are fully capable of finding another job in the flourishing gambling industry. On the other hand, there are the people who suffer from gambling addiction and have put themselves in the situation to need professional help in order to survive and overcome these major issues. They need specific help and attention in order stop the vicious circle of losing money, trying everything they can think of to earn some, just to lose them again on the FOBTs.
Problem Gambling is a Pending Issue
There are many ways in which this scenario could be successfully avoided and the company will keep the negative impact on its revenue at minimum. Mr. Mullen’s reaction show that he does not take problem gambling seriously enough to act on it and join the thousands other companies which have already taken measures against it. Gambling addiction is an issue which affects society as a whole and the impact is even bigger than what a hypothetical employees dismissal could have.
People experiencing the uncontrollable need to wager on a daily basis often tend to lose their money and this leads to them exploiting other ways to gather money for the next betting session. Sometimes they can even put themselves and other people in danger in order to do so. Such is the case of the 39-year-old taxi driver, who lost about £1,000 in less than an hour in a betting shop in Liverpool and then proceeded to rob a frightened woman employee.
The desperation for money affects the decision-making process going on in these people’s minds and they act impulsively, thus causing trouble and suffering to everyone around them. It affects many levels of society and spreads rapidly among the nation masked as a mere pastime or a fun hobby. Problem gambling is a surging issue which is more and more discussed nowadays both by people who have overcome the massive burden of it, and officials in the gambling industry. Serious measures for its prevention and reduction are bound to be taken by every government, as well as by every major casino and betting operator.