In a desperate last ditch attempt to retain the unsavory cash cow that is Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, and protect UK gambling machine betting, the British gaming industry has turned to AI to help, but can even this futuristic solution absolve them of their perceived crimes? As more and more people gamble on the internet at bookies like Bet365, one of the best online sportsbook sites in the UK today, are the days of the fleecing FOBTs over bar the shouting?
Described as the crack cocaine of gambling the Fix Odds Betting Terminal has gone from wonder of the modern age to a dastardly monkey set on the backs of the poor by a callous UK gaming industry out to harvest as much money as possible from those least able to afford it. Indeed the reputation of UK gambling machine betting sank so low even those in the deeply divided British parliament managed to put aside their differences to limit and decry their use by bookmakers.
- First UK Appearance – 1999
- No. Machines 2018 – 32,956
- Yield – £1.7bn GDP Annually
- Change – Down 5.8% on 2017
With an outright ban hovering on the horizon the industry has been scrambling to find a sop with which to fob off the criticism of these beastly boxes and believes in Artificial Intelligence it may have found one. Partly because it sounds hi-tech and cutting edge, but mostly because they can rely on most of those who help create UK gambling laws having absolutely no clue about what it actually is. But can it really save UK gambling machine betting from it’s deserved doom?
Artificial Intelligence Smoke Screen Thrown Up By BGI
The system, rather pompously called The Anonymous Player Awareness System, was introduced by the Betting And Gaming Council and is supposed to spot erratic or excessive play, locking the machine down instantly and displaying helpful informative messages about problem gambling. This sounds a great way to leverage modern technology to cut the issues that have tainted UK gambling machine betting for so long. Then you find out it only does so for thirty seconds.
The idea that UK gambling machine betting can be defended with such a paltry delay to people throwing their money away is ridiculous and insulting. The BGI claim the alert sent to staff will mean that they’ll approach problem gamblers and have a “discussion” to see if there are any issues. Of course, those who bet on sports in the UK will know low paid betting shop staff don’t put themselves on the line like that, and certainly not to handle addicts being denied their fix.
“This is a step in the right direction,” admitted Professor Mark Griffiths, a behavioral addiction expert, “But obviously……the mandatory break is probably not long enough to have a positive effect.” Something a recent study in Norway confirmed. So, whatever they say, this is not the gaming industry applying modern methods to help their customers but a smoke screen thrown up so they can continue to profit from UK gambling machine betting preying on the vulnerable.
Whether it will work is debatable. An election looms on December the 12th in the UK and a change of government could see a change in policy that would once and for all rid the nation of the disgusting blight of UK gambling machine betting. They’re wholly unnecessary and can never have the safeguards you’ll find inherent when you log into bookies like Bet365, one of the best online betting sites in the UK, however much “artificial intelligence” they claim to install.