In a report, the House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee called for local authorities to approve the creation of more casinos, which should be permitted to provide up to 20 high stakes gambling machines.
Betting shops would also be able to increase from four the number of “B2” fruit machines on which punters can place bets of as much as £100 a time, under the committee’s recommendation.
The proposals raise the prospect that high streets up and down the country could offer the machines, which invite gamblers to bet an amount representing a quarter of the average amount taken home each week by workers with a single press of a button.
One senior MP, John Whittingdale, the Conservative chairman of the committee, described the current system of gambling regulation as “reluctantly permissive,” and insisted that fruit machines were “legitimate entertainment”.
Are there not already more than sufficient opportunities for gambling? And why bet on such machines, as they are fixed to deliver a return to the owners? At least, the pools, the horses and the stock exchange offer the possibility of a decent return ...