Gambling addict pans ‘crack cocaine’ of betting machines

A gambling addict has spoken out against high-stake gambling machines, saying he lost a month’s salary in a couple of hours.

Roger Radler said the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) are the “crack cocaine” of the gambling industry.

The machines allow people to bet money on virtual versions of casino games like blackjack and roulette.


But because the machines are computerised, they are very quick to restart a new game when one has just finished.

Mr Radler said he wasted vast amounts of money on FOBTs.

He said: “You can get your high every 15 seconds and you are losing huge sums of money.”


He added: “At my worst, I probably lost a month’s salary in a couple of hours and that’s horrendous.”

A millionaire, who made his fortune through inventing a casino game, is now funding a campaign to get rid of the machines.

Derek Webb said: “On table roulette, everyone has their own set of chips, makes their own bets on the live table and it takes a minute or two to get the resolution”.


He added: “A player on an FOBT machine can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds so that is a totally different experience to live casino tables.”

Figures from the Gambling Commission show that the gross profit from FOBTs in 2012 was £1.4bn.

The Government was expected to publish a review of high-stake gambling machines last month.


In August, the Daily Mail learnt that the Government is planning to cap payouts on the terminals for the next three years.

Gambling laws were watered down in 2005, which meant betting shops were formally allowed to have FOBTs.

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