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Opinion: Government Scapegoating of Sportsbooks in the UK is Politics at its Worst

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Politicians are resorting to unrestrained attacks on easy targets like bookmakers rather than offering real solutions to problems.

In Britain democratic politics have fallen on hard times. Voters are either apathetic or angry, facing disappointing economic prospects and having little-to-no faith that elected leaders will be responsive to their needs.

On the other hand, politicians have done nothing to inspire confidence. In Britain, both Labour and the Tories are relying on the same low-rent techniques: rather than work to solve problems, resort to cheap populist attacks on easy targets like large businesses and high street bookmakers.

Betting shops and online sportsbooks in the UK are popular targets

Earlier this year Tory chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne introduced a new budget that would raise government revenue by raising taxes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.

Never mind that with the popularity of online and mobile betting most betting shops rely on revenue from those terminals to stay afloat. And the fact that most betting shops are small family businesses owned by hardworking people. Hard working people who will soon be out of a job.

If that wasn’t enough, Labour Sports Minister Clive Efford recently announced a plan to raise taxes on sportsbetting (and English Premier League clubs) as a means to gain revenue to fund grassroots football organizations. Which is fine, in and of itself. But why go after bookmakers every time the government needs money? Because its cheap and easy, like everything in politics these days.

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