Over this past winter it became clear that London officials were no longer taking illegal gambling operations lightly. As problem gambling has become a much more actively discussed social issue for Britain at large, the idea of targeting the source and means of betting, punting, and losing much needed finances has been thrown around quite a bit.
The main source of frustrations for many who see the effects of problem gambling spreading across the nation are fixed-odd betting terminals, or FOBTs. These machines are manual betting tables that electronically simulate a roulette wheel (or some other traditional casino game), and they have been commonly dubbed the “crack cocaine of gambling” for those who struggle with addiction to the hobby. Because of this increased public disapproval of these machines and games, London officials have taken it upon themselves to truly crack down on any unmonitored or illegal machines and gambling activity in 2014.
What started over a year ago as a briefing of what to look for in the illegal games has grown into a full fledged search and removal of any games not abiding by the regulations set in place by the Gambling Commission’s Local Authority Liaison Unit (LALU). The efforts began in the south east portion of London, but have since trickled outward like ripples to other parts of the country. The trend has recently struck London.
Local police officers and government officials in London have seized dozens of illegal machines. With a lot of talk about the looming possibility of adjusting regulations such as betting limits for punters at the machines take place, they may have a lot more to look for and shut down. That, however, is something they will concern themselves with only if and when the time comes. For now, they’ve got enough of a job simply sending the consistent and strong message that they’re not going to turn a blind eye to illegal gambling in any format whatsoever anymore. As an increasingly large amount of citizens take issue with street gambling, and particularly the continued prevalence of illegal or unfair FOBTs, city officials are taking more action. That action has been firmly upheld in the city of London since the turn of the new year, and it seems as though their efforts to thwart illegal gambling operators will continue to go strong for the rest of 2014, and beyond.