Wednesday, 23 February 2011

This Is One You Should Have Passed On….

David Lammy clearly didn’t embarrass himself enough in that now-infamous episode of ‘Mastermind’.

Because here he is again in CiF, railing about…unrestricted gambling? Really?
It is a sign of the times that recently published researched showing that almost half a million Britons have a gambling problem went largely unnoticed.
Funny, I don’t remember you worrying too much about this sort of thing when Gordoom was touting ‘supercasino’ licenses around…

And wasn’t it Labour that sold off the Tote?
The damage done to those people, and the friends and relatives who are also affected, is readily dismissed by some with an appeal to notions of free will and individual choice. It was their choice to gamble; their problem is their choosing.

The same logic gets the gambling industry off the hook: the casinos, betting shops and gambling sites are simply responding to consumer demand.
Ahhh, I see. That damned free will we have. After smoking and drinking, it’ll be gambling that needs to be nipped in the bud, won’t it?
The garish colours splashed across the front of bookmakers' shops block the depression that lies behind the plastic advertising boards. The penniless young men glued to virtual roulette wheels while others queue are invisible to the passing public. You're prevented from seeing the desperation of men surrounded by scrunched up, worthless betting slips that represent their afternoon's endeavours.
Can I get a ‘minorities and the poor worst affected’?

Yes. Of course I can:
The government's survey data tells us that the average problem gambler is male, young, unemployed and from a deprived neighbourhood.
Perhaps there’s a correlation there between being poor, and being dumb enough to not realise you are too poor to gamble?

If so, then removing the gambling opportunity is most likely not going to alter things significantly.
Gambling laws that were weakened under the last Labour government have given gambling firms free rein over our high streets.
Just checking, David, but that was the Labour government you were part of, right?
People "demand" the opportunity to gamble away money they do not have, just like people "demand" money from loan sharks at extortionate interest rates.
Yes, stupid people. You can’t protect them from theirselves, no matter how much you try…
All TV advertising of gambling before the 9pm watershed must stop. If people really want to have a bet then they will do. Rather than abolishing the Gambling Commission, the government should be looking at stopping old-fashioned bookies' shops becoming soulless mini-casinos.
How? Slap a preservation order on them?
Most of all, residents need their voice heard. We deserve a say if a company wants to build the ninth betting shop on a 300m stretch of high street. This is not just a question of consumer demand – we walk, cycle, drive and shop on these streets every day.
And what are you expecting them to do, lure you in with their beguiling ways and bright colours?

How about letting people make their own mistakes. Like going on a celebrity quiz show despite being as dim as a 40w bulb. You wouldn’t want to see a law against that, would you?

14 comments:

Smoking Hot said...

The gambling industry is a total mess. Amusement centres were very well regulated before Labour came along and screwed it up. There was a maximum jackpot of £25 only and customers accepted this quite happily. Now you have jackpots running into hundreds of pounds and the machines gobble up your money so fast you wouldnt believe it.

Slot machines should have never been allowed in betting shops in the first place. They became virtual unregulated amusement centres.

What would've lasted a gambler hours now can be mere minutes!

NickM said...

"People "demand" the opportunity to gamble away money they do not have, just like people "demand" money from loan sharks at extortionate interest rates."

This from the fuckers who inflated a housing lead consumer credit bubble.

Forget the roulette wheel - he ought to broken on the wheel. The whole bally lot of them!

phiangle said...

Firstly, you have failed in your government mandated green requirements, a 40 watt bulb? Try an 8 watt low energy, mecury based bulb.

A friend of mine comes from a family of bookmakers, this is really the only way to make money from gambling.

Anonymouslemming said...

This really sucks for me, having to partly agree with a member of the labour party, but here I go...

Communities absolutely do need more of a voice when it comes to licensing these things.

Newham have planning permission out for a large casino. One of the potential sites for this is directly across from City airport, next to building 1000. There is only one rail-based public transport link to this site (DLR) and 2 buses. There is no parking planned for, and roadside parking has already increased since building 1000 came to town, resulting in far more traffic incidents and crashes.

But we can't legally object to the casino planning request on the basis of further parking problems, traffic issues or lack of forward transport planning.

Then you get the bit about crime increase - the DLR is an unmanned transport facility and the casino will not have to pay any extra towards security in the area beyond their doors. Lord knows the police already don't do anything for us.

Just given the kind of people that this casino will attract and the issues that I've seen around and related to all of the mega casinos that popped up in South Africa, I want the right to be able to object to this planning permission.

But I don't have the right because my concerns do not fall under the gambling act.

Hexe said...

"What would've lasted a gambler hours now can be mere minutes!"

Well, in that case it's clearly a self-limiting non-problem... ;-)

But seriously -- either we believe in free will and free people, or, we go back to the bad old days where our betters decided our lives for us.

Btw, most problem gambling actually occurs in private, so the idea that if you ban it, the problem vanishes is poppycock.

Rob said...

If David bans gambling, people will no longer gamble. David will feel great. Simples.

PT Barnum said...

Fastest growing demographic of problem gambler? Women, playing online bingo. Ban bingo, everywhere, that'll learn them. Go on, Mr Lammy, I dare you - I once worked in a bingo parlour and those women scared the stuffing out of me when they were winning, never mind losing!

RAB said...

Gambling is a mugs game, unless you are playing something like poker, everything else, the odds are rigged against the punter.

But hey, it's their money, let mugs be mugs I say.

I used to live round the corner from a Casino. I used to pop in there in the early hours sometimes to buy a packet of fags, they being the only place open.The vast majority of the punters were Indian and Chinese.

DJ said...

You could spend two weeks betting on every horse with a name beginning with 'E' and still get a better rate of return than Lammy's party got on 13 years of social engineering.

Woman on a Raft said...

I don't recall him campaigning to shut the National Lottery, which made very helpful grants to Labour's pet projects.

JuliaM said...

"The gambling industry is a total mess. Amusement centres were very well regulated before Labour came along and screwed it up."

Indeed. All the more galling that this dim excuse for a man is blithely unaware that we can't all recall whose party he's a part of...

"Forget the roulette wheel - he ought to broken on the wheel. "

I'll have a fiver on him lasting longer than 20 mins. Anyone else?

"But we can't legally object to the casino planning request on the basis of further parking problems, traffic issues or lack of forward transport planning."

Which is indeed a nonsense. But would it not apply to other things too? Or only casinos?

"...either we believe in free will and free people, or, we go back to the bad old days where our betters decided our lives for us."

Not sure that ever stopped. It's just that our 'betters' are now elected rather than born (or in the case of the Benn dynasty, both).

JuliaM said...

"Fastest growing demographic of problem gambler? Women, playing online bingo."

God, they'd tear him limb from limb!

"Gambling is a mugs game, unless you are playing something like poker, everything else, the odds are rigged against the punter."

Indeed. And we have the Lottery. That's gambling, and EVERYONE seems to play it.

I think WoaR has put her finger on why there's no outcry over that...

"You could spend two weeks betting on every horse with a name beginning with 'E' and still get a better rate of return than Lammy's party got on 13 years of social engineering."

:D

banned said...

"...You're prevented from seeing the desperation of men surrounded by scrunched up, worthless National Lottery slips that represent their afternoon's endeavours."

National Lottery, State sponsored addictive gambling 24/7/52

SadButMadLad said...

Don't tell Pericles over at AR about this article. The number of grammar and spelling mistakes in it is shocking - but par for the course for this newspaper.

http://www.annaraccoon.com/media/standard-of-english/