The recent protests led by Tracey Crouch M.P. about the effects of the rapidly spreading presence of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in the already omnipresent Betting Shops on our High Streets and shopping centres are sounding a warning.
Once gambling was a much quieter less obvious business. Many liked to gamble but it did not loom large in our perceptions. Nowadays it is almost impossible to avoid. Watching football on TV sees an ending stream of advertising for it.
It suggests that an increasing proportion of the population is not only losing control of its spending but borrowing money to gamble as well as to spend. At one time gambling was more strictly controlled and regulated but that was dumped by Blair and Brown and it is now seemingly a major part of ordinary finance.
Historically, the gambling industry has been interwoven at the margins with the worlds of the criminals and other activities anti-social and often dangerous. The attractions of easy ways to move and use money are too obvious.
The coming of the computer and the net and the sudden ability conferred to move a great deal of money without trace and very quickly now has a darker side. Gambling has gone online and is available now to organisations and activities for altogether more dangerous and malign purposes.
With a hat tip to Bruce Schneier what can be done with what appears to be playing games online is remarkable. Clearly, money laundering can be done large scale by almost anyone who wants to. It might not be too long before one sovereign state or another is brought to its knees by attacks on its finance.
In the first decade of the 21st Century we have had the banksters and their allies in financial services doing just that and the pace of their activities may have been checked a little but seems to be roaring back again. Their work can often be seen as little more than Fixed Odds Betting Terminals gone online.
Our Prime Minister, David Cameron, is reported today in the media as proclaiming that the UK "must be buccaneering and back enterprise" as well as asking other states to send their money to the UK to assist this purpose.
Many of the early Buccaneers attempted to work to this effect but as the losses mounted of honest traders and workers with ensuing economic damage the end result was that the Buccaneers who could be caught were dealt with on Execution Dock.
Present UK policy appears to be to give them the keys to the safe.