Problem gambling in the UK had increased by 50 per cent in three years. A significant cause is the rise of the machines…
Green Street, east London. I’m watching other people gamble at 10am on a Monday morning in a Ladbrokes betting shop. Virtual sports unfold on several screens: computer-generated horse and dog races, names every bit as daft as their flesh-and-blood counterparts (Boozy Beez, Gummy Bear, Mad Murphy).
But the real action is at the side of the shop where men hunch over the huge electronic machines: the fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). Here, on virtual roulette games, vast amounts of people’s money disappear every day. Each machine eats almost £1,000 a week.
Read the full article in The Big Issue online.