Calls have been made for more responsible government regulation of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOTBs) in bookmakers shops, machines offering touch-screen casino games with the opportunity for gamblers to pump in up to £18,000 per hour.

The FOTBs, the “crack cocaine of gambling”, are thought by charities to be eight times as addictive as any other form of gambling, with two thirds of gamblers only stopping when all their money is gone, an aspect that generates more than £50 billion staked per annum. Like games in casinos the profit, the loss to the gambler, is just a few per cent per game, with total profits per gambler being reliant on them being hooked for long periods of play – the longer they stay the more they lose.

It has been noted that high concentrations of betting shops, and the FOTBs, are in the poorer areas of the country, and the not-for-profit Campaign for Fairer Gambling has estimated that more than £700 million was staked on FOTBs in just 178 betting shops in Birmingham in 2013.


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