The ‘Association for the Betterment of Bookies’ (AFTBOB) in their latest defence of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) has claimed that modern vacuum cleaners (vacs) should face the same scrutiny.
An AFTBOB spokesperson said, “Modern vacs have a cocaine like effect on the brain; you never saw this with a Hoover. These modern machines have no bags, greater suction and even battery power; it’s all too much for some, especially those with a tendency for excessive cleaning in at least seven different ways.”
AFTBOB say their members are being unfairly targeted because the government and regulators are not consulting about the changing impact of vacs on vulnerable individuals and society. Nobody is insisting that retail stores only stock four vacs let alone discussing how much they are to buy. It’s ridiculous; there’s no evidence that problem gambling has increased since the introduction of FOBTs, whereas obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) linked to cleaning is now diagnosed much more frequently (references for either claim not provided). “It’s just like the government don’t care about obsessive compulsive disorder linked to cleaning,” said the same AFTBOB spokesperson.
In response a Department of Health spokesperson said, “We care equally about all addictions and have increased spending on mental health services, whilst still managing to reduce staffing.”
Justice for Punters’ opinion is that mental health should be given a far higher priority in the UK, especially research into the causes and where possible reducing the impact immediately of known causes, e.g. electronic gaming machines and online casinos. In addition, treatment should be more accessible for all.