As I walk into the first betting shop, a few men glance up from their screens — and give me an unmistakably hostile look. The same thing happens at the second.
It’s early morning, but the atmosphere is threatening. Nor is this just my imagination: in both shops, the manager is protected at his counter by a shield of toughened glass.
Having backed out of the first two shops, I steel myself to enter a third — William Hill in Paddington, West London — and approach a man who is playing virtual roulette on a machine by the wall. This is one of the fixed-odds betting terminals, known as Fobts, which are often described as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’. I watch as the man feeds 20p coins into the machine — at a rate of one every 20 seconds.
Read the full article in The Daily Mail online.