Gamblers 'losing millions on machines'
PLYMOUTH gamblers pumped £86.5million into betting machines dubbed 'as addictive as crack cocaine' last year, according to new figures.
The data relates to Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals where gamblers can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on casino-style games such as roulette.
The figures are from research drawn up by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, which believes the machines are fuelling gambling problems and creating problem gamblers.
It wants much tighter regulation of the machines, which are found in licensed bookmakers.
Their data shows that in Plymouth Moorview there are 15 FOBT machines in four betting shops and in Sutton and Devonport there are 44 machines in 12 shops.
In Moorview gamblers spent £21,624,027 and in Sutton and Devonport the figure was £64,872,080.
Adrian Parkinson, Campaign for Fairer Gambling Consultant, said: "Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) are touch-screen roulette and casino gaming machines in betting shops, on which it is possible to stake up to £100 every 20 seconds.
"The high stakes and speed of play have led to the machines being called "the crack cocaine of gambling"; and the Gambling Act 2005 limits each betting shop to four FOBTs; so bookies leapfrog regulations by opening up as many shops as possible, which is why we get clustering, especially in poorer areas as our research has shown."