Thursday, 19 December 2013

What Are The Odds...?

...of gamblers turning to on-line alternatives as payouts on the 'fruit machine' type of gambling device are reduced to a tiny maximum by statute, as is being proposed in some quarters?

Douglas Carswell MP has today written on this topic in his Telegraph column, citing an existing, equally predictable (at the time, and even more obvious now) effect of government imposition on another activity. Although there are differences, the result was exactly what is almost certain to happen in this move in regard to what are known generically as Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

Locally, here in Medway. Labour has been pushing the drive against the device, not addressing the underlying issue. It is their way: as ever, they even now pursue only the issues that they judge will give them the chance to make the political running and gain them kudos in the electorate's eyes.

The other constant is that their 'solutions' almost always impose new laws and/or regulations – such is the natural dictator's way of doing things, and all Lefties are wannabe dictators at heart, though most deny this, unsurprisingly.

When I looked at this subject in one of my weekly digests (currently on hold throughout the Christmas season, but material still being actively pursued every day), I stated that it was the gamblers' behaviour, and their desire to gamble in particular, that is the real issue. As nearly always occurs, Labour miss the target yet again because their interest is only in serving their own interests, not in serving society – and this is yet another of that ever growing pile of obvious examples of that worthless approach.

As Douglas says, gamblers will turn to on-line gambling instead; and it should be said that there – as most of it is provided from overseas so has no UK jurisdiction overseeing or moderating it at all – they are likely to end up with greater problems than they have had in the establishments, not forgetting a lack of exercise by staying at home, as a secondary effect.

Personally, I don't like these FOBTs or their arcades – but I'd rather keep them if the alternative is going to be worse, as seems close to a certainty.

UPDATE 20 December: I see that at least one member of Medway Labour is (somewhat desperately, it has to be said) trying to twist the above post into me-against-one-Conservative (out of almost three dozen of such, I might add). Apparently, this one member is supportive of Labour's stance, which suggests to me he is simply not up to speed regarding what I and Douglas Carswell have written on the subject, for example. There's certainly nothing in the local newspaper article (linked from that tweet) that suggests the member concerned actually is what the Labourite claims, however.

Nevertheless, the real question is: was it that one member who has been pushing this issue for months, and seeking as much publicity as possible in self (and party) promotion? No: all that haas been done by Medway "look at me! look at us!" Labour, as is firmly embedded in the public record.

As for the Conservative councillor concerned: I recommend reading the above post, follow the link to the Carswell column, and have a good hard think about the probable consequences of the action Medway Labour have been pushing, in case there actually is any doubt in his mind.

Further UPDATES 22/23 December: Local Labour blogger Cllr Tristan Osborne, who was tweeting just a couple of days ago on this as I mentioned in the first update, has come out of blogging hibernation (no posts for a month and a half) to have a go at those of us who have a different (i.e. intelligent) view on the subject, no doubt bolstered by this (blatantly) one-sided story in our local newspaper. Won't work: read Alex Massie for an appraisal coming from near enough the opposite direction, but still reaching more-or-less the same conclusion that I did. Also, this from David Atherton fits in well with the Massie piece.

Labour show themselves to be either unable to or unwilling (probably both) to treat the subject as adults and with any shred of intelligence whatsoever. For them it is nothing more than an attack line and an excuse to regulate our lives further – their two ultimate aims in life.

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