Gambling’s ‘crack cocaine’ is devastating lives and not doing much for the economy either

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Since 2008, UK gamblers have squandered £11.4 billion playing games such as poker and roulette on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). These sophisticated gaming machines, often referred to as the “crack cocaine” of gambling, are to be found in high street bookies and casinos across Britain, allowing people to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds.

Not only is this helping to create a huge swell in problem gambling, it is also affecting the economy, because this spend has little ripple effect, flowing directly into relatively few pockets without generating a significant number of jobs.

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