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Thursday 27 March 2014 3.49pm
I am guessing that Dan is quoting Gambling Commission statistics. This figure still represents tens of thousands of people directly, and also [as any treatment provider would be likely to agree] should be factored up to consider harm experienced by family members and others, including sick time lost to employers, company fraud, etc.

What is a "very small amount", and what is a reasonable cost/benefit analysis result, given that the public health costs are met from across the population?

Bearing in mind the 'red-in-tooth-and-claw' values of operators, they are likely to claim that we should all be paying for own healthcare in any event, in which case I suggest we might as well legalise and make widely available all Class A drugs, if these matters rest purely on personal responsibility with no need for regulation. Indeed, there was an ultra-Tory right-wing libertarian tendency in the 1980s, which as well as calling for the hanging of Nelson Mandela, also advocated for the legalisation of Class A drugs on the basis of the intrinsic value freedom of the market.
Thursday 27 March 2014 4.09pm
jimfearnley wrote:
What is a "very small amount", and what is a reasonable cost/benefit analysis result, given that the public health costs are met from across the population?

This is the crux of it, Jim, imho, and it applies to everything. Speed limits; legalisation of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; gambling; being able to buy kitchen knives, power tools, and garden implements; letting children live with their families, and so on.

Our current solution to many of these dilemmas is to try to Balance the good of the many against the potential harm to the few. Arguably, the stance taken on drugs and alcohol is so skewed by political concerns, and by illogical and often unsubstantiated arguments, that any balanced development seems impossible. I wouldn't like the discussion about gambling to be taken the same way.

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 27 March 2014 4.28pm
Ivanhoe, you are so right once again.

The data I have on problem gambling are as follows:
British Gambling Prevalence Survey data (Gambling Commission)
1999 0.6%
2007 0.6%
2010 0.9%

Scottish Government health survey
2012 0.7%, 1.4% of men and 0.1-0.2% of women.

Health Survey for England
2012 0.6-0.8% of men and 0.1-0.2% of women

I don't think there is anything there that shows an impact from the rise of FOBTs, nor do I think that banning or restricting FOBTs further will have any impact on problem gambling. I do think that the use of FOBTs for money laundering may be a problem, but that is another issue...
Thursday 27 March 2014 5.42pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
Arguably, the stance taken on drugs and alcohol is so skewed by political concerns, and by illogical and often unsubstantiated arguments, that any balanced development seems impossible. I wouldn't like the discussion about gambling to be taken the same way.

I agree that the lack of control of the few shouldn't affect the responsible many, but these tactics by governments always come across as deliberate manipulation to get out of taking any action. It reminds me of drivers on packed late night busses (talking about pre-oyster times here): there was always someone who'd spent their bus fare on the last drink and tried to dodge the fare. The bus driver's way of dealing with that was to make clear who that person was and for example say: "if that ginger bloke in the black leather jacket doesn't pay his fare I am not driving", leaving the rest of the passengers to either pay up for the bloke or, if he was unlucky, kick him off the bus. It seems that governments can't be bothered to tackle problems and instead opt for populism. Lazy and manipulative politics and ultimately unethical.
Friday 28 March 2014 11.56am
I don't understand why, when debating gambling, the lottery seems to get off scot free.

This form of gambling is not only state sponsored but open to 16 year olds and has outlets everywhere.
There are many people that do the birthday numbers ,thing and that's them forever lottery players no matter how skint they may be.

You want to talk about the promise of riches in a game that is designed for you to lose?

But the problem here seems to be the type of (perceived) people a bookmakers might attract, not the ills of gambling.

I really really would love to be wrong.
Friday 28 March 2014 12.05pm
boroughonian wrote:
I don't understand why, when debating gambling, the lottery seems to get off scot free.

Personally I don't play the lottery, it's not as much fun as betting on horses or the footy but I agree with the general opinion that it's basically like a tax on the poor.
Friday 28 March 2014 12.31pm
eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
boroughonian wrote:
I don't understand why, when debating gambling, the lottery seems to get off scot free.

Personally I don't play the lottery, it's not as much fun as betting on horses or the footy but I agree with the general opinion that it's basically like a tax on the poor.

Think you've hit the nail on the head there, there's little enjoyment in playing the lottery (especially the euro thing),in fact of all the forms of gambling I can think of it has to be the least entertaining and therefore is,to my mind, the purest form of.
Friday 28 March 2014 12.46pm
Another big difference between the lottery outlets and betting shops, is that children are not in the queue behind me when I'm putting my bet on in the betting shop,whereas they are in the newsagents and so the playing of the lottery is normal everyday life.
Friday 28 March 2014 1.05pm
boroughonian wrote:
Think you've hit the nail on the head there, there's little enjoyment in playing the lottery (especially the euro thing),in fact of all the forms of gambling I can think of it has to be the least entertaining and therefore is,to my mind, the purest form of.

Ooh, I've got to disagree with you there. Personally, I can't see the point of the lottery at all. However, I know lots of people who spend 1 a week knowing full well that the odds of a big win are millions to one, but they consider that they get 1's worth of enjoyment from it.

On the "purest form of gambling" idea, I'd also disagree, but I suspect that's down to us having different definitions of what gambling is. To me, it involves some sort of skill element, whereas I suspect that to you it involves chancing money, regardless of skill. On reflection, if we call something like roulette "gambling", then you're right and I'm wrong.

...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 28 March 2014 1.20pm
LOL Chancing money regardless of skill? I spend hours studying form, part of the enjoyment, and I consider the bookmaker as my sworn enemy, I want to beat him and if I have a 3 bet and walk away with 4 I have, for that day at least.

I do agree though I suppose, it's good to have a dream even if it can never be realised.

I referred to the "purest form of gambling" for exactly that reason, no skill involved but I take your point about roulette being of that form, at least your on a night out though.

EDIT: I'm forgetting the machines in the bookies!
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