The High Stakes Game Spotlight


The High Stakes Game

Conor Spackman investigates the controversy around fixed odds betting terminals, which have been dubbed the 'crack cocaine of gambling'.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Yo!

1:30:561:30:58

Unlucky 13!

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Are these machines a social menace?

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They're called fixed odds betting terminals,

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or FOBTs, normally found in a bookmaker's shop.

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They're not like old-fashioned fruit machines,

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taking 10p and 20p coins.

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With these, you can feed in notes,

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and bet £100 every 20 seconds.

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Campaigners say that's harmful for problem gamblers,

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creating a dependence like crack cocaine.

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The FOBT gambling is the most addictive form of gambling.

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It should never have been allowed in Britain.

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The betting industry, which makes huge profits from the machines,

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says most people enjoy them responsibly.

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Tonight, I'm going to be learning more

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about fixed odds betting terminals.

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What I'm going to do is take £300 of my own money,

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and play them.

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Who knows, maybe win enough for a trip away in the New Year,

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or end up contributing my hard-earned cash

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to the bookie's Christmas party.

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There are believed to be more than 600 FOBTs in bookies here,

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about double what there were six years ago.

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An average of about two in every bookies.

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Like in Great Britain, all the big bookmakers here

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have fixed odds betting terminals in their shops.

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In GB, the machines were legalised in 2005.

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But gambling law is devolved,

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and that legislation doesn't apply in Northern Ireland.

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In fact, gambling legislation hasn't been updated here

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since as long ago as 1985.

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And that law says the maximum stake in a gaming machine is 30p.

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But the maximum stake in a fixed odds betting terminal is £100.

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Derek Webb is a former professional poker player,

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who now leads a UK-wide campaign against FOBTs.

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He's convinced that FOBTs should be regarded as gaming machines,

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and, because the law hasn't changed here,

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that they are illegal in Northern Ireland.

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It isn't just my view as well.

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I had a top QC in London

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prepare an analysis for me.

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And the QC's analysis was

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pretty much on board, exactly, with that notion that they are illegal.

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The NI Turf Guardians Association represents

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most of the bookmaking industry here.

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It's adamant that the FOBTs used by its members are legal.

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But if Derek Webb's lawyer, a QC, is right,

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it would mean all the big bookmaking chains here are breaking the law.

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There's two FOBTs in that one.

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Another three in this one.

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And four FOBTs in there.

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There's three more in that one.

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And four more in there.

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And another four in that one.

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We wanted to ask the bookies

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why they say their profits are obtained legally.

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They wouldn't do an interview.

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And it's not just the fact that some think the machines are illegal,

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which makes them controversial.

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Even in GB, where they have been legalised,

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there is huge controversy around them.

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About the speed of the games, and the sizes of the stakes.

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Last month, the government in Westminster acknowledged the danger.

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We believe that the current regulation of FOBTs

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is inappropriate to achieve our stated objective

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of protecting consumers and wider communities.

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The government said it would cut the maximum stake in GB

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from £100 every 20 seconds to somewhere between £50 and £2.

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Even this limited reform won't apply here.

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Gambling therapist Peter Pallin says something needs to be done.

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He says half his clients here, over the past decade,

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have been addicted to fixed odds betting terminals.

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People just gamble and gamble and gamble while there's money there.

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They won't feel hungry because...

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because what's going on is going to override that. Like...

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..spend everything they've got and more,

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but they just couldn't believe that they'd kept going and going,

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and kept going back, kept going back.

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And...

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But the win, when they win, is electrifying.

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And the fact that they've already lost money, you know,

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they'll have lost money, cos even if they win,

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they've actually, you know, they haven't really won,

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they're only getting a tiny wee bit of their money back.

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Derek Webb agrees that the problem is the speed of the FOBTs

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combined with the most popular game on them, roulette.

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Electronic gaming machines are up to several times faster

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than if you were playing the real, live game in a casino.

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At a busy table, which is when most players are playing,

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it can take up to two minutes to do a spin, yeah.

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But here you can bet every 20 seconds, so...

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..it's very fast.

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I'd be seeing how fast,

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playing the fixed odds betting terminals myself.

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I told Peter about my plan.

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I was surprised by the strength of his reaction.

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I think it's...

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..a really terrible idea.

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Why?

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Well, if you win, it won't be the last time you play.

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If you're not someone who has previously gambled,

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and you then win,

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then you go away with a distorted sense of your capacity to win.

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Certainly, I wouldn't be giving you any advice beyond - do not do it.

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As time passed,

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I began to wonder more about what he said.

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Was playing them a good idea?

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Back again, to McConville... What a goal!

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Oisin McConville...

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It started from McCann.

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Former GAA star Oisin McConville

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lost hundreds of thousands of pounds, gambling.

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People find it very difficult to understand, you know,

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the concept of somebody who's gambling

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because coming towards the end of my gambling,

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people were just saying to me, stop!

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Just stop, just cop on.

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And there is a little bit of that in it, but...

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I was in an addiction and, you know,

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I found it very difficult to get away from that.

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The best way I can describe it is if we see very vivid images on television

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of people who are strung out on drugs, in particular heroin,

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and they'll do anything to get that next hit.

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The hit for me was getting the money to have that bet.

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Oisin is now an addictions therapist.

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As well as the speed of FOBTs,

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he feels the amount of cash involved makes them very dangerous.

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What do you think it is about them...that makes them so addictive?

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I think they're quick.

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I never would have had a bet that would have lasted a day,

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or even a couple of hours,

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it all had to be quick, it was horse racing.

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And then that maybe took a little bit too long

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and then it was dog racing, towards the end,

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because it only took 20 or 30 seconds.

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£300 a minute, you can bet on these.

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Yeah, which is absolutely crazy, when you think about it.

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I told him about my plan to play them.

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I think for somebody like you,

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that's...probably a good idea.

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From somebody who's never experienced gambling,

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I think it's a brilliant experiment.

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I think you should go in with the frame of mind that I'm going to win,

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and see how that thinking changes within a short period of time.

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I'd be playing roulette on a FOBT,

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the game where more than a billion is lost

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in bookmakers in GB every year.

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I met up with Derek. He agreed to show me how to play them.

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First, he told me to expect something very different

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from the machines of my youth.

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No luck that time, Derek,

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but this is the type of fruit machine

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that people might be familiar with.

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Yeah, this is the real old-fashioned type of thing.

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What we're talking about in a FOBT

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-is a completely different type of game.

-Oh, absolutely.

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The main game on the FOBT is roulette.

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Well, I'm going to be having a go at a FOBT, but first of all,

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I need to know how to play roulette,

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and I have come dressed for the occasion.

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How about that?!

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And you're going to tell me how to play roulette over here.

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Absolutely, let's do it.

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Well, an even-money shot is an easy way to start.

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So here we have got red and black,

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you can choose to bet one of those.

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And that would be an even-money pay-out,

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because there are 36 numbers,

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and 18 red numbers, 18 black numbers.

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So it's a bit like betting heads or tails, really?

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Yes. However there is the zero, which is the green number,

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and that is the house advantage.

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So there's a total of 37 numbers, rather than 36.

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What I'll do is... These chips are worth a pound each.

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I'll take five of them.

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And I'll bet on red.

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And if I win, how much do I get?

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Well, you will win £5, so your total payback will be £10,

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including your stake.

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And if it comes up black?

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Then you'll lose. You'll be £5 worse off.

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OK. Well, we'll have a go at that.

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£5 on red, please.

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Oh, black.

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It's come up black, I bet on red, and my money's gone.

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Gambling should not be regarded as a way to win money.

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It should be regarded as a way to pass the time, it should be

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regarded as entertainment.

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If you're gambling to win money from disposable income,

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you're making an error.

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I expect to be lucky.

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That's a perception,

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that's not a mathematical reality.

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So, the time has come for me to experience playing

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one of these FOBTs myself for the first time.

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The idea is that I'll start off with about £50,

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and if I win £20, that'll do me for today.

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Sorry, but your journey stops here.

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Even though the bookies say the machines are fun,

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they won't let us film me playing.

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I'll let you know how it goes.

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So, I've just finished playing, and the upshot is,

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I'm afraid I've lost the £50.

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I was trying to play conservatively, I was playing just red or black.

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£2 every time on red,

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I got up to... I think £8 was the biggest profit I had at any point.

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And then, the wheel of fortune just turned against me.

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£50, enough for a few drinks and dinner, had gone in 30 minutes.

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I still felt in control.

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Some are not so lucky.

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An estimated one in 50 here is a problem gambler.

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People become very skilled at covering their tracks and will go

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to extraordinary lengths to make sure that nobody finds out.

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You can't pick a gambler. What does a gambler look like, walking down the street?

1:43:091:43:13

Because it's anybody. It's you, it's me, it's everybody.

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I went to Davina's Ark, an addiction recovery centre in Newry,

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to meet a group of people fighting gambling addiction.

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Due to the stigma that surrounds gambling,

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the group wanted to remain anonymous.

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The session started with a talk on the psychology of gambling.

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This evening, we're going to be looking at gambling and the brain.

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And just like individuals with alcohol or drug dependence,

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who develop tolerance for the alcohol or drug,

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you need higher doses to experience the desired mood or feeling.

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Members of the group were encouraged to talk about

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their own experiences of gambling.

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14, I started gambling, just going to bingo halls,

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just the odd time and stuff. Then I started playing roulette.

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You know, hit the button one time and won.

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And I was hooked.

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People wonder how you spend 12 hours in the bookmakers.

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Not a problem, not a bother at all.

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Not feeding yourself or nothing, you know.

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But you love that, it's a love affair.

1:44:151:44:17

And they say to change your life after that there,

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it's very hard to. Every day's a struggle.

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I was just constantly trying to scheme to see how

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I could get out of this, because I couldn't bring

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it in my heart to come out with the embarrassment of - I'm a gambler.

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Of course, not everyone who gambles becomes an addict.

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The betting industry says that FOBTs are usually harmless fun.

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I'm going to try again.

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So, it's time for another go on the FOBTs. Started off with £300.

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As you can see, my bundle of notes is slightly slimmer now,

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I've lost £50.

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I'm going to trying get that £50 back this evening.

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Wish me luck.

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So, the upshot of that session is that I've lost another £10.

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I was nowhere near getting my £50 back that I lost the other day.

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Now I've lost another £10 on top of that, so I'm now £60 down.

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I think I'm playing too conservatively, I'm playing

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red or black, I'm not really getting the full FOBT experience.

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It might be time to take a few more risks.

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The money I lost could have been put towards Christmas presents.

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Now I'm chasing my losses.

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Oisin McConville explains

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how gambling differs from other addictions.

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The difference between the addictions is, like, for a gambler,

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he thinks the way out of his gambling addiction is one big win.

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So, in other words, gamble.

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Whereas an alcoholic or a drug addict knows that he has to stop,

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there has to be cessation, there has to be abstinence.

1:45:531:45:57

Oisin also tried to solve his problem with one last bet.

1:45:581:46:02

I had a loan which was guarantored by somebody.

1:46:041:46:08

I went and had it on a horse.

1:46:101:46:12

How much?

1:46:121:46:14

I think it was £20,000.

1:46:141:46:17

-On one horse?

-Yeah.

1:46:171:46:18

-Do you remember the name of the horse?

-No.

1:46:181:46:20

-Did it win?

-No.

1:46:201:46:22

What happened?

1:46:221:46:23

The horse was beaten and

1:46:231:46:26

the insanity of where I was at that time meant

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that I went to the car and I got £6, £7, £8 together,

1:46:311:46:38

and I went in and had another bet.

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And that was it.

1:46:411:46:42

Because I truly believed, this sounds insane,

1:46:421:46:45

but I truly believed that £6 could get the 20 grand back

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and get the 100 before that, and the 50 before that.

1:46:501:46:54

But also the feelings and the emotions and the self-respect,

1:46:541:47:00

the self-esteem, the relationships and the friendships

1:47:001:47:03

and the family members.

1:47:031:47:04

I believed I could get all those back with that six or seven quid.

1:47:041:47:08

I'd heard how severe a gambling addiction can become.

1:47:081:47:12

It certainly made me pause for thought.

1:47:121:47:15

But I still felt in control and wanted my £60 back.

1:47:151:47:18

Derek was on hand with another lesson.

1:47:201:47:23

How can I win more?

1:47:231:47:25

How can I take more risk?

1:47:251:47:27

The next type of opportunity is the 2-1 opportunity.

1:47:271:47:32

So here, that's a bet on this column.

1:47:321:47:34

So you've got three bet opportunities there,

1:47:341:47:36

one on each column.

1:47:361:47:38

And three bet opportunities here,

1:47:381:47:41

one on each of the three dozens.

1:47:411:47:43

Right, OK. And if I were to put £5 on that one, for example,

1:47:431:47:49

how much would I get back?

1:47:491:47:51

Well, that's a 2-1 pay-out,

1:47:511:47:53

so you're trying to win £10 for your £5, a total of £15.

1:47:531:47:58

-So, I'll have a go at that then.

-Sure.

1:47:581:48:00

Let's have a try.

1:48:001:48:02

So, effectively what I'm doing, I'm betting £5 at 2-1,

1:48:021:48:06

on the last 12 numbers.

1:48:061:48:09

-Is that right?

-Correct.

-OK, let's have a go.

1:48:091:48:11

Oh, that really couldn't have been further away from where

1:48:201:48:22

I wanted it to be.

1:48:221:48:24

It's at the other end of the board, so, again, £5 gone.

1:48:241:48:27

So, Derek has shown me the 2-1 shot,

1:48:271:48:29

so I'm going to take £90 of what I have left,

1:48:291:48:31

and I think if I double that today, I'll be happy.

1:48:311:48:34

Remember, you're not allowed in.

1:48:351:48:37

You have to wait here.

1:48:371:48:38

20 minutes later, and I'm afraid the £90 has gone.

1:48:491:48:52

I was playing £5 a spin.

1:48:521:48:55

I won on the first spin, and I had a profit of £10,

1:48:551:48:58

and that was as good as it got.

1:48:581:49:00

It was absolutely relentless.

1:49:001:49:03

It was rapid, the money just went.

1:49:031:49:04

In just 20 minutes, I donated £90 to bookmakers' profits.

1:49:051:49:10

In GB, the regulator, the Gambling Commission,

1:49:101:49:14

publishes how much bookies make from FOBTs.

1:49:141:49:16

£50,000 a machine in the last year.

1:49:161:49:21

There's no equivalent regulator here.

1:49:211:49:23

In Northern Ireland,

1:49:231:49:24

the profits from fixed odds betting terminals are a secret.

1:49:241:49:28

The profits are good news for the shareholders,

1:49:281:49:31

but potentially disastrous for those losing the money.

1:49:311:49:34

Like Martin Paterson, a taxi driver from Glasgow.

1:49:341:49:38

I was out to do a 10-hour shift in a taxi,

1:49:381:49:42

and within half an hour, it would all be gone in a machine.

1:49:421:49:45

How much are we talking?

1:49:451:49:47

Maybe my day's shift would probably be about £80-90,

1:49:471:49:50

if I'd had a good day. And a bad day was, like, 60.

1:49:501:49:52

And all that money was going straight into a FOBT

1:49:521:49:54

-at the end of the shift?

-Straight into a machine, mate.

1:49:541:49:57

You walk out the bookies and you'll stand there in total bewilderment

1:49:581:50:03

that you actually done that, after promising yourself

1:50:031:50:06

so many times that you would never do that again.

1:50:061:50:09

Until he quit the machines in 2014,

1:50:111:50:13

Martin's favourite game was roulette.

1:50:131:50:16

I played roulette based on numbers, based on...

1:50:191:50:22

I don't know what possessed me,

1:50:231:50:24

but zero, everybody seems to chase the zero. So I chased the zero

1:50:241:50:28

with numbers round about the zero, which happened to be birthdays.

1:50:281:50:32

28, 29, 7, 14 - they're all birthdays,

1:50:321:50:35

and they were all the numbers that...

1:50:351:50:37

And it gets to the stage that nothing even matters,

1:50:371:50:40

numbers doesn't matter, it's...

1:50:401:50:42

It's the fix. It's horrible, horrible.

1:50:441:50:47

Even when his money ran out, the taxi driver had

1:50:471:50:50

ways of getting more cash and came up with excuses to hide his losses.

1:50:501:50:55

I would tell my wife that the taxi had broke down, I needed to

1:50:571:51:01

put the money to a new wheel, a new tyre, it needed a gasket.

1:51:011:51:06

Do you know what I mean? It was always an excuse after an excuse.

1:51:061:51:10

And then you've got to tell the taxi company as well, when a Monday comes

1:51:101:51:13

that you've got to give them £150 for your weigh-in, for the radio,

1:51:131:51:18

and I never had that.

1:51:181:51:19

Many times, I had to go to the owners of the taxi company

1:51:191:51:22

and say, listen, I'll pay double next week, I'll sort it out,

1:51:221:51:25

I'll try and give something during the week, just to keep me on the road.

1:51:251:51:29

Martin's experience with fixed odds betting terminals has led him

1:51:291:51:33

to believe that they should be formally banned.

1:51:331:51:35

-Personally, I'd like to see them out the door.

-Banned completely?

1:51:371:51:39

Banned completely, and that's just the machines. I'm not talking...

1:51:391:51:42

I'm not anti gambling.

1:51:421:51:43

If people want to gamble on horses and dogs and football,

1:51:431:51:46

that's fair enough.

1:51:461:51:47

These FOBT machines are designed to addict people.

1:51:471:51:51

They addicted me and they've addicted thousands of others.

1:51:521:51:55

It's a view shared by Oisin McConville.

1:51:551:51:57

You think they're so dangerous,

1:51:571:51:58

bookies should be made to take them out of the shops?

1:51:581:52:01

Absolutely, and I think that should happen immediately.

1:52:011:52:05

People like Martin playing FOBTs give the bookies in GB

1:52:051:52:09

almost £2 billion a year.

1:52:091:52:12

The equivalent figure here would add up to £30 million.

1:52:121:52:17

Bookmakers here, say that's not a fair comparison

1:52:171:52:20

because FOBTs aren't as popular as they are in GB.

1:52:201:52:24

But they still wouldn't say how much they do make.

1:52:241:52:26

As we know, Derek Webb's QC thinks any profits are unlawful.

1:52:271:52:32

On the other hand, the bookies say they comply with the law.

1:52:321:52:36

But Spotlight has obtained this letter, which indicates that

1:52:371:52:40

another senior lawyer shares the view of Derek Webb

1:52:401:52:44

and his lawyer and not the bookmakers' view.

1:52:441:52:47

The letter is from the Attorney General, John Larkin,

1:52:471:52:50

and it's to an MLA, Lord Morrow, earlier this year.

1:52:501:52:53

And in the letter, John Larkin says he believes it's highly likely

1:52:531:52:57

that fixed odds betting terminals are unlawful in Northern Ireland.

1:52:571:53:01

Now, at the time when he received the letter,

1:53:011:53:03

Lord Morrow was a backbencher, and that means that this is not

1:53:031:53:06

a formal legal opinion to a government minister.

1:53:061:53:09

And it's also important to say that the issue of whether fixed odds

1:53:091:53:13

betting terminals are legal or not, has not been tested in the courts.

1:53:131:53:17

We showed the letter to Derek Webb.

1:53:171:53:19

We have obtained this letter.

1:53:201:53:23

It's from the Attorney General, John Larkin, to an MLA,

1:53:231:53:27

and he says, at the end here,

1:53:271:53:29

that the use of such a machine on bookmakers' premises

1:53:291:53:32

exceeding the maximum limits in terms of stake

1:53:321:53:35

and pay-out, prescribed by the 1985 law that you mentioned, would not

1:53:351:53:38

be lawful under the present legislation,

1:53:381:53:41

-that's under the 1985 legislation.

-I'd go stronger than that.

1:53:411:53:45

I'd say they're engaged in criminal activity by obtaining profits

1:53:451:53:49

illegally and then, when they legitimise those profits,

1:53:491:53:52

they are engaged in money laundering.

1:53:521:53:55

All the big bookies have them.

1:53:561:53:58

They're all over Belfast and across Northern Ireland.

1:53:581:54:01

William Hill, Ladbrokes, Sean Graham, Toals, McLean

1:54:011:54:06

and Paddy Power - all of them, based on the views of some lawyers,

1:54:061:54:09

at least, breaking the law for years. So, what's been done?

1:54:091:54:15

Spotlight can reveal that the PSNI have now taken action.

1:54:151:54:18

Yesterday, they told us

1:54:181:54:20

that a bookmaker had been arrested in connection with operating

1:54:201:54:23

a fixed odds betting terminal with a maximum stake

1:54:231:54:26

and prize in excess of what is permitted for a gaming machine.

1:54:261:54:30

A file has been sent to the Public Prosecution Service.

1:54:301:54:33

Any trial is likely to be a test case of

1:54:331:54:36

whether the machines are legal here.

1:54:361:54:39

We tried unsuccessfully to contact Lord Morrow to ask why

1:54:391:54:43

he was receiving a legal opinion about the machines.

1:54:431:54:46

John Larkin declined to be interviewed.

1:54:461:54:49

He said we shouldn't have his letter.

1:54:491:54:51

My own journey playing FOBTs was nearly over.

1:54:531:54:56

I wasn't happy contributing £150 to bookies' profits.

1:54:561:55:00

And meeting people like Martin had definitely affected me.

1:55:001:55:04

Reluctantly, it was time to experience the more volatile

1:55:041:55:08

game of playing the numbers, as Martin had.

1:55:081:55:11

Derek gave me another quick lesson.

1:55:111:55:14

Well, we're going to talk about the numbers,

1:55:141:55:18

and the numbers are the individual bets.

1:55:181:55:21

So, you can bet one number or more and,

1:55:211:55:25

if your number comes up, you're going to get 35-1.

1:55:251:55:29

So, if I put £1 on a number and that number comes up,

1:55:291:55:32

-I get £35 plus my £1 back?

-Correct.

1:55:321:55:35

OK, well, I'm going to be a bit more adventurous than that.

1:55:351:55:38

I'm going to put £5 on four different numbers.

1:55:381:55:40

Red, 25.

1:55:451:55:46

-And we've lost 20.

-So the 20's completely gone.

1:55:501:55:53

You can run out of money at roulette very quickly.

1:55:551:55:58

So this is the last day's betting, and there's part of me

1:56:041:56:09

that's quite glad, to be honest. I've had no luck at all.

1:56:091:56:11

I started off with £300. I've already lost half of that.

1:56:111:56:14

And I think, if today, I could get that money back, look,

1:56:141:56:17

that would be enough.

1:56:171:56:18

Good news - I got the money back, £300. £150, I won in ten minutes.

1:56:321:56:38

It was exhilarating and, at the same time,

1:56:381:56:42

it was worrying because I was able to win £150 in just ten minutes.

1:56:421:56:48

All the money I've lost over the last week,

1:56:481:56:50

I got back in just ten minutes.

1:56:501:56:53

And I'd said beforehand that, if I won that £150 back, I'd stop but,

1:56:531:56:57

of course, when you're winning, you don't want to stop,

1:56:571:57:00

you want to keep going.

1:57:001:57:01

And having spoken to people like Martin, I have to realise

1:57:011:57:04

that there's another side to these machines.

1:57:041:57:07

Yes, I'm sure that some people do enjoy playing these machines

1:57:071:57:11

and can play them responsibly,

1:57:111:57:13

but I have felt that I've got my money back, I'm happy

1:57:131:57:18

and I don't think that this is something I want to continue doing.

1:57:181:57:21

There'll be no contribution from me to the bookies' Christmas party.

1:57:231:57:27

Meeting people like Martin, means I've seen enough.

1:57:291:57:32

Once you're addicted to these things, it's horrible.

1:57:331:57:37

It's like any addiction.

1:57:371:57:38

I just think people don't see it as a problem

1:57:381:57:42

because it's a machine as such.

1:57:421:57:44

It's not a substance, it's not an alcohol, it's not a drug.

1:57:441:57:47

But me, personally, I call it a Class A drug -

1:57:481:57:51

it's the top kitty, it's the bhoona.

1:57:511:57:54

And the industry know that, and that's why they're doing

1:57:541:57:57

everything in their power to make sure that they stay.

1:57:571:58:00

The betting industry says it's not aware of any proven link

1:58:001:58:03

between FOBTs and problem gambling.

1:58:031:58:06

The six biggest bookmaking firms here all refused us

1:58:061:58:09

access to their shops to film fixed odds betting terminals in action.

1:58:091:58:13

And they even refused to talk to us on camera about the machines.

1:58:131:58:16

And this e-mail, we have obtained, may explain why.

1:58:161:58:19

It's from the Northern Ireland Turf Guardians' Association,

1:58:191:58:22

which represents most of the industry.

1:58:221:58:25

In it, they say,

1:58:251:58:26

"I am writing to inform everyone that the NIGTA shall not be

1:58:261:58:30

"supplying a representative for interview and that any question will

1:58:301:58:33

"be addressed by written statement through our media advisors.

1:58:331:58:37

"Should individual bookmakers be contacted,

1:58:371:58:40

"I would advise contacting either myself or our chairman,

1:58:401:58:43

"and we can put them in touch with the media consultants."

1:58:431:58:46

So the bookies, who are making huge profits, perhaps unlawfully,

1:58:491:58:54

stay hidden and quiet.

1:58:541:58:56

But FOBT addicts are starting to speak up,

1:58:571:59:01

while counting a cost not only measured in pounds and pence.

1:59:011:59:05

It was such a relief.

1:59:061:59:07

It was such a relief one day that I thought that I was going to end it.

1:59:071:59:12

And...

1:59:121:59:14

I feel as if the weight was lifted off my shoulders, I wasn't going to

1:59:141:59:17

harm anybody else, I wasn't going to have to borrow money.

1:59:171:59:20

And then you start thinking about the long-term effect

1:59:201:59:23

that would have on your family and stuff like that.

1:59:231:59:25

That's what sort of brings you round a wee bit.

1:59:251:59:28

You thought that the only way out of your FOBT addiction was to end your own life?

1:59:291:59:36

-Yeah.

-And that seemed like a relief?

-Yeah. Yeah.

1:59:361:59:41

Over the past decade,

1:59:451:59:47

the number of machines has risen rapidly in Northern Ireland.

1:59:471:59:51

Increasing just as swiftly, are concerns that, for some,

1:59:511:59:56

the fun of fixed odds betting terminals stopped long ago.

1:59:562:00:00

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