Several pieces of news have gotten online gambling site owners and fans excited about the future of the industry in the United Kingdom. For example, the industry giant William Hill simply can’t find any new people to take over as its CEO.
This indicates a sense of uncertainty in the business, as well as a lot of speculation that the government is about to crackdown on the entertainment field. Even worse, Fixed Odds Betting Terminals have been getting hit again for being “dangerously addictive” and for causing too many people to spend too much money.
Several newspaper companies, such as The Times and the Daily Mail have stated that these machines are like the “crack cocaine of the betting industry.” Could all of this pressure on the online gambling community be leading up to the government stepping in and putting a stop to England’s biggest past time?
Not likely. Even with all the huffing and puffing being done by the government and other experts stating that online gambling is a serious danger, don’t expect it go to anywhere anytime soon.
Why is that? It simply can’t afford to do much. Even with FOBT machines being limited to a maximum wager of just £100, an astonishing £1.75 billion was made by them last year. Of that money, £438 million was sent right to the government in tax revenues.
That astonishing number doesn’t even touch on just how much money the government makes with legalized gambling. In 2015/16, the industry pumped £2.7 billion into the coffers of the treasury. That’s an incredible amount of money, one that nearly dwarfs the tax money earned by booze and tobacco funds.
So does the fact that 75 percent of the people who use online casinos have what is known as a “gambling problem” indicate the government is going to shut them down for good? If they were focused solely on the well-being and mental health of their constituents and that alone, perhaps. However, the government needs tax funds to run, and online gambling and the gambling industry in general are too important for that purpose.
Is this a good or a bad thing? Is the government right to put tax money before the health of its citizens? If it wants to continue operating, it probably does, especially when the people who are benefited by that tax money (such as those who are protected by the army or by better road conditions) far outweighs those who are negatively impacted.
So while online gambling and FOBT machines are likely to remain controversial and problematic for many across the country, they aren’t likely going away anytime soon.