Last week, Tony Franklin entered an online casino and deposited $500 to bet on a slot but lost all the money in just 15 minutes! Then he paid another $400, then $1,200, and half an hour later he paid $1,200.
In just 40 minutes Franklin lost over $3,300! The player then stated that he was addicted to gambling for decades! This addiction cost him more than a million dollars, his wife and children, and several jobs.
Even stranger, he admitted that he knew he was going to lose before entering the casino! Saying, “I don't know why I risked so much and I knew I was going to lose!”
Although Mr Franklin never denied that he was “in real trouble” he was never able to quit gambling! He mentioned that even thinking about his previous losses prompted him to venture again and try his luck once more!
Also, even if he is willing enough to avoid thinking about gambling at home, he fails when he sees one of the slot machines in the malls or on the subway.
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Slot Machines Crisis of Addiction
Many experts and researchers believe that the problem of gambling addiction is mainly related to slot machines. These games generate billions of dollars from the poorest classes in Britain. Many dream of banning them completely in Britain. However, the government see that banning them is very harmful because they provide billions in taxes!
Another team of researchers believes that there is no real evidence that slot games are more harmful than their other casino counterparts. They cite the fact that US restrict online casinos. However, gambling addicts are turning to other types of games. In addition, banning slot machines in both online and traditional casinos, shops and malls will result in the loss of half of the jobs in the British gambling industry, not to mention the loss of tax resources.
In August of last year, the UKGC published a statistic indicates that the number of addicts to gambling increased by 53% from 2015. However, betting companies and casinos see “the number is constant” considering the increase in population and other demographic factors. Given that the percentage isn’t increasing, no need to change rules.
On the other hand, Tony Franklin and other players suffer greatly from gambling addiction. In fact, they are lured by online slots and slot machines all over Britain!
History of Slot Machines in Britain
Slot machines were introduced to Britain in 2001 during the Tony Blair government. Now Britain has more than 33,000 machines located in 9,000 shops. These machines generated close to 2 billion dollars in profits in 2019 alone, which is much more profit than the betting shops! Bearing in mind that these machines do not require huge operating, maintenance or staffing expenses like betting shops.
More than half of the slot machines in Britain come from a company of Ronald Perlman, a close friend of former US President Donald Trump.
The big problem with these machines is that they allow players to place a bet of up to $100 every 20 seconds on games like slots and roulette. Due to the composition of these games, many see them as much more harmful than other slot games.
Statistics show that it is amazing that these machines are in the most destitute areas of the country. What is even more surprising is that they are very popular there!
“Slot machines are a social disaster,” says parliamentarian Carolyn Harris, who chairs the Parliamentary Group on Gambling. “The more money that is put into these machines, the fewer money rest to players invest in other areas. Therefore, reducing the machines will boost the economy”. In fact, studies support Harris's view that for every 5,000 slot machines create, more than 25,000 are lost!
UKGC Actions Against the Slot Machines
In 2020, the UKGC took many actions against all gambling providers because of the tremendous increase in the addicts' number. The first regulation was to impose the integration with GamStop on all gambling portals inside the UK. This regulation aims to help weak will players to stop gambling until the exclusion period ends. Also, many charities launched exclusion schemes like GamBan and TalkBanStop.
The committee was not satisfied with that only, as it announced several decisions to “reducing the fun of slot games,” such as: eliminating the in-game features like free spins and bonus symbols. Ban the AutoSpin option because it makes players pay more money. Also, it banned the VIP schemes because its only goal is to get money from players on a permanent basis.
Some of these decisions are effective, but others can have serious consequences for the industry! So, many players think of joining non GamStop casinos that don’t have any of these restrictions.