Britons gambled £46 billion on betting terminals last year, an increase of almost 50 per cent in the last four years.
Gamblers lose up to £100 every 20 seconds on the fixed odds machines, which have been dubbed the “crack cocaine” of the high street, and almost 600,000 children were stopped in or trying to enter betting shops last year, six times as many as 2009, figures from the Gambling Commission show.
Bookmakers made profits of £1.55 billion from the terminals between April 2012 and March 2013.
A number of councils have attempted to tackle gambling machines as there is growing concerns over their impact. They have been linked to criminal activity, including the laundering of drugs money.
MPs will today vote on whether the stakes and prizes from the machines should be fixed, the Daily Mail reported.