The appeal of FOBT's is the fact that the RTP is actually so high, usually 97%+, much better returns than the horse odds available at the counter and giving the illusion that hot streaks are possible and the best value bet in the shop.
The danger comes from the rapid turnover they encourage churning your stake into dust at 2 spins a minute. After 15mins you'll have 40% of your money left, another 15mins and it's down to 15%. "But it says 97% on the box so I'll have another £100 and I must
be able to hit a few in a row"
They also have insidious 'near miss' scenarios programmed to push every neurological button possible.
The law on fruit machines etc comes from the days of coins and cogs which inherently limited turnover. The simple answer would be to legislate on allowable turnover (fingerprint activated Go buttons registered at the counter, or £1 a spin etc) but the ants nest we're in danger of disturbing is if FOBTs are limited, then why not online bingo, poker and casinos, and if them then why not online bookies or even betfair. They all allow and often encourage rapid gambling. Granted it's highly
unlikely because the industry and the treasury would fight it like hell.
But do we really
want a 'nanny knows best' state or just accept that self destructive people always have and always will find a way to screw themselves be it gambling, drink, drugs or cake, and the best we can do is to provide what's necessary to pick them up again.
"On tonight's moral maze we have in the studio,...."