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Thursday 27 March 2014 9.55am
As I stated above, I am not presuming to regulate the use of their own money byindividual consumers of any product, including alcohol or tobacco.

My point is that gambling holds out chance [with all legal means stacked against it by the industry] of the consumer maximising their income by participation.

I only ever rarely and for trivial amounts gamble myself [but am a smoker], and cannot particularly understand the compulsion that some people have to do so, but it seems logical that whatever 'temptation' there is among lower-income individuals to participate at a level that causes negative impact on other aspects of their lives is likely to be influenced by the existence or otherwise of other economic opportunities, such as reasonable salaries.

I think [or hope] that we can all agree that the financial crisis of 2007 onwards severely impaired the quality and amount of such opportunities for many people.

The pernicious aspect of gambling that distinguishes it from other forms of compulsive behaviour is based on [a] this false hope of economic improvement and [b] the fact that there is potentially no upper limit to expenditure, in contrast to alcohol or street drugs - in the latter instances, when your body can take no more, it 'shuts you down', even temporarily.
Thursday 27 March 2014 9.59am
jimfearnley wrote:
I think "preying" refers to the strategy of the industry, not the activities of individual bookmakers...

Oh, I see. Is it the corporate offices of the big firms that are sending mind-control beams, magnetically attracting feeble-minded low-income punters into the bookies' to spend their children's food money?

Seriously: apart from being businesses (i.e. apart from the "predatory" nature of all capitalism), how are bookies any worse than anyone else?

The high street is full of shops trying their best to sell us things that, in most cases, we don't need in order to exist. I work just off Oxford Street, close to Marylebone High Street and Regent Street. There's very little on any of those streets that's necessary. Should we campaign to remove Selfridges? I'm sure someone somewhere must at one time have spend their rent money on designer handbags. Should we storm Prada?

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 27 March 2014 10.11am
jimfearnley wrote:
My point is that gambling holds out chance...of the consumer maximising their income by participation.
I only ever rarely and for trivial amounts gamble myself ...it seems logical that whatever 'temptation' there is among lower-income individuals to participate at a level that causes negative impact on other aspects of their lives is likely to be influenced by the existence or otherwise of other economic opportunities, such as reasonable salaries.

Gosh, you really do think that there's a lot of "lower-income individuals" out there who are feeble-minded (whilst you miraculously appear to be able to have the odd flutter yourself, without blowing your budget).

No one I know gambles in the hope that it will bring them huge rewards. Everyone understands that betting books are overround, and that gambling machines pay out less than they take in. I had an interesting conversation with a friend's 9 year old child about this topic the other month. They were very well-versed in the business model of gambling operators (and were warning me not to play on roulette tables with both a zero and a double-zero!).

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 27 March 2014 10.15am
Ivanhoe wrote:
jimfearnley wrote:
I think "preying" refers to the strategy of the industry, not the activities of individual bookmakers...

Oh, I see. Is it the corporate offices of the big firms that are sending mind-control beams, magnetically attracting feeble-minded low-income punters into the bookies' to spend their children's food money?

Seriously: apart from being businesses (i.e. apart from the "predatory" nature of all capitalism), how are bookies any worse than anyone else?

The high street is full of shops trying their best to sell us things that, in most cases, we don't need in order to exist. I work just off Oxford Street, close to Marylebone High Street and Regent Street. There's very little on any of those streets that's necessary. Should we campaign to remove Selfridges? I'm sure someone somewhere must at one time have spend their rent money on designer handbags. Should we storm Prada?

It's the dangling of the opportunity of a win that lures the desperate in. There is a huge difference if you bet for fun and you can afford no returns or when you are desperate and you use it as a last resort. I think the betting industry at its worst can be as bad as the wonga.coms of this world. They are worse than others because the majority of others try to get you to buy products you can do without, whereas many are desperate for money. When I was younger and I'd spent my wages before the end of the month, I'd occasionally go to the bookies hoping to win some cash.
Thursday 27 March 2014 11.04am
At no point have I suggested that, effctively. all people on low incomes are 'feeble-minded'. I have tried to explan the parrticular attraction of gambling to those who have little money, and the consequently greater impact on those with less income.

I think if you think that no-one gambles in the hope of increasing their income, you are deluding yourself - for one thing, look at the privatisation of various types of what should be properly 'public' funding represented by the National Lottery.

I do concede that many people [of all/any incomes] may also gambling to enjoy the risk, the activity itself, etc, but "It could be you" is the hope held out and internalised by many in terms of the wider picture. "Edward Woodward's" case study demonstrates this attraction/belief vividly.

I am as critical of the overall logic of the capitalist 'free' market selling useless rubbish as Ivanhoe is, but am trying to demonstrate the fact that gambling not only exemplifies the logic of the market, but is alsoits most clear expression, in terms of macro-economics.

One major gambling charity counsels [or counselled] many clients at a London Bridge venue, nearly all of whom worked in the City, many of whose share-trading activities cannot be distinguished from spread betting, to the extent that, as I understand it, the FSA/FCA has struggled to draw a line between the two fields of activity.
Thursday 27 March 2014 11.24am
I am not necessarily anti-capitalism, I do however believe a revision is overdue and developments/variations like Social Capitalism should be considered. Not that I think that will happen.
Thursday 27 March 2014 11.32am
Tend to agree, Ivanhoe. One does not need to be either a conspiracy theorist or a moralist to acknowledge that capitalism follows its own logic. Thank you for a stimulating and thought-provoking debate.
Thursday 27 March 2014 12.31pm
jimfearnley wrote:
At no point have I suggested that, effctively. all people on low incomes are 'feeble-minded'. I have tried to explan the particular attraction of gambling to those who have little money, and the consequently greater impact on those with less income. .

And I'd say that (unless you're claiming that all people on low incomes are feeble-minded) you should modify that to say "the particular attraction of gambling to a very small number of those who have little money".

jimfearnley wrote:
I think if you think that no-one gambles in the hope of increasing their income, you are deluding yourself - for one thing, look at the privatisation of various types of what should be properly 'public' funding represented by the National Lottery.

Well, you see, I'd view the lottery as being completely different from the way you appear to see it.

All my colleagues play the lottery every week. Yes, of course, they harbour a remote dream of winning a large amount, but they have no realistic expectation of actually winning it.

It's the same for any of my friends or family who play it. For those people, the lottery is arguably the ultimate in harmless gambling. A very small bet that's worth it to them because it creates some drama and a bit of a talking point, and allows them to daydream of speedboats, tropical islands and early retirement. I think the odds of winning the jackpot are fairly well known, but some people still like to play for fun.

I'm sure that if you look hard enough, you could find someone who has managed to ruin themselves financially by misuse of something like the lottery. However, I struggle to believe that the number of such people is significant. Do we stop the majority doing something harmless, because a minority can use the same thing to harm themselves?

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 27 March 2014 1.49pm
Also worth noting that the incidence of problem gambling is now something like 0.6% of the population according to the latest statistics having actually decreased over the last 2-3 years. For the vast majority gambling is a form of entertainment and is harmless. Drinking alcohol does far more damage to the disadvantaged. And smoking.
Thursday 27 March 2014 2.15pm
eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
boroughonian wrote:
Well actually, as a person that uses bookmakers almost daily, I have seen little to no evidence to back up your claim that they seem to be magnets for "other" (Freudian slip?) criminal activities, perhaps I don't know what to look for, though I think I would notice prostitution in a betting shop.
I won 900+ last year for a 3 stake, it was fun!

If you're in there almost daily, how much of those 900 are actual winnings?

I have a 10p e/w lucky 15 every day cost 3,that's 4 horses,if one wins I get (more or less) my money back,I quite often win 10 20 30s,I had only three winners in that biggish win, massive odds granted.

In short, I think i'm up to be honest, I, like the VAST majority of gamblers, do it for fun.

If there was a direct correlation between the amount of betting shops and people with ludomania (yep. looked it up) then it would be noticeable by now, apparently not.


I smell something else going on here.
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