Some punters are actively lobbying the government to make changes to the gaming industry. They are not asking for a loosening of regulations though, but for a tightening of them.
Martin Patterson is a United Kingdom resident and someone who admits that gambling took over his life. He says that he is a recovering problem gambler who wants to help others avoid the trap that he fell into.
It was only in 2001 that Patterson ever started to gamble with Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOTBs) at all. He says that he started out as a normal punter like most people, just wagering a little bit here or there for entertainment. Before long though, the local shop in his area had four of the machines, and he was being offered free spins on a regular basis. Perks like that drew him in quickly. He says that he feels that the machines have earned their nickname as the “crack cocaine of problem gambling”.
This is all in the news because the United Kingdom is currently reviewing its policies on gambling, and in particular on the FOTB machines. They want to make sure that the regulations are tough enough that more people do not have to repeat the same sad story that Patterson has had to go through.
New regulations include lowering the amount that a person is able to bet on a single play of the machine. Currently, that amount stands at one-hundred pounds. This means that it is literally possibly for a person to lose that amount of money every twenty seconds or so. It is causing financial ruin on a regular basis.
The government is considering a range of proposals to clamp down on problem gambling. This includes reducing the amount that a person can bet on the machines to between two pounds and fifty pounds per turn. That is critical because it could help slow down the amount that a gambler spends when he or she is playing the machines.
This is a big step in the right direction say advocates who point to statistics that suggest that there are roughly two million people in the United Kingdom who are problem gamblers or who are at risk of the addiction. Perhaps this will be just enough to shake some of them free from the troubles that have been with them for so very long. If so, then this could be enough to start to make real societal change in the United Kingdom in the realm of gambling.