My column about the evils of fixed-odd betting terminals brought almost universal agreement but a few voiced their dissent. Let me answer my critics
Since my column last week about fixed-odds betting terminals, I’ve been getting hundreds of messages a day. Ninety-five percent of them agree with my view that these high-stakes modern slot machines should be restricted. I don’t think I’ve ever written a column that encountered more assent – or less dissent – apart from the one about “funeral crashers” who skulked around misleading the bereaved in hope of free booze. Not many people came out in support of those guys.
But FOBT machines are equal to the funeral crashers in their rapacious appetites, and inspired almost as little praise. The unanimity of the response was heartening and baffling at the same time: left-wingers and right-wingers, Labour MPs and Tory MPs, betting-shop workers, betting-shop punters and people who have never been in a betting shop; old and young, the addicts and the free; all united in agreement that the machines should be capped.