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Bookmakers Deserve No Sympathy over Betting Shops Closures, Says an Employee with 12 Years of Experience

Owen Rees, a former employee in the betting industry with 12 years of experience in the business, says that bookies deserve no sympathy over the recently announced betting shop closures. According to him, it was expected for reforms to FOBTs to happen, considering all the damage they were making.

The former bookmaker branch manager said that ever since their introduction in 2001, FOBTs and bookies have contributed towards an increased social degradation in the UK communities.

A Former Bookmaker Branch Manager’s Testimony

Recently, several bookmakers have announced their plans of closing their betting shops due to the stake cut on FOBTs from £100 to £2 and their revenue loss.

However, Owen Rees, a former bookmaker branch manager said that they deserve no sympathy, because FOBTs were sinister, giving increased access to quick losses or winnings on the high street, and creating something like a miniature casino. As he said, gambling has always been a vice either to those with enough income not to feel the losses or to those hypnotised by the idea of quick financial gain who cannot actually afford to lose.

Rees said that when FOBTs were first introduced, the government said that only four of them could be available per shop. Considering FOBTs account for about half the profit in a typical branch of a high-street bookmaker, bookmakers had to open more branches close to one another to keep their customers. This meant 12 or more FOBTs available in three or more branches along one street.

The worst thing was, as Rees said, that bookmakers thrived on desperation, placing their most profitable and busiest shops in areas of social deprivation. Rees said that bookmakers became greedy, without a care for how their financial gains actually destroy thousands of families.

The Real Problems Associated with the Betting Shop Closures

Had bookmakers hedged their bets and had they been more socially responsible, they would not be in the current situation, and would not have to shed hundreds of their, now, unprofitable shops due to the stake cut. Instead of investing in the development of new FOBTs, they should have invested more training time to social responsibility awareness. a

Nevertheless, even though they deserve no sympathy, Rees said that gamblers and employees alike would be most affected by the betting shop closures, meaning those who can afford to lose the least. Due to the shop closures, thousands of employees will lose their jobs, and gamblers will move to online sports betting. And, the online division, according to Rees, would be much worse for the online betting men. If middle management in high-street shops wouldn’t have concerns about the source of the bettor’s funds, online managers would completely ignore the customer’s wellbeing, allowing players to gamble irresponsibly and be in a much worse situation.

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