Big Mac is back...
John McCririck has joined our star line-up
Being a right wing Tory, I’m all for individual freedoms and believe the legislation bringing the maximum wager on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals down from £100 to £2 is utterly wrong.
Of course there are tragedies. People commit suicide because they bet too much but that happens if you drink too much. Anything you do to excess creates danger, like driving too fast, eating too much junk food or drug abuse.
That awful politically correct phrase is trotted out: We’re only doing this for your own good. It takes me back to my public school days when they used to beat the life out of me and say it’s only for your own good.
In all of this we’ve lost the word responsibility. We are all responsible for our own actions. There are contributing factors and the reason people bet too much is that, like me, they’re lazy and greedy.
This legislation is like busybodies getting involved with people’s sexuality. It doesn’t matter what people do or who they do it with. Only two things count: it must be consensual and over-age. Apart from that, what they get up to in the bedroom or elsewhere, how many do it, is no concern of parliament or the rest of us.
In the old days you might have been able to bring in a restriction on FOBTs and it would work. But these days you can bet 24 hours a day online as much as you want on poker, virtual racing and everything else.
I’m amazed betting shops continue. I was a denizen of offices from the day Jack Swift’s opened on May 1 1961 in London’s Dover Street. In this modern age where people can see every race on TV and do all the betting they want in their own home, how can shops survive with all the expenses they incur?
Now this loss of revenue and customer involvement will be a death warrant for many of them and cripple racing’s income.
“These days you can bet 24 hours a day online as much as you want on poker, virtual racing and almost everything else”
Choice: Fixed Odds Terminals