Gamblers spend £1.5 billion a year on betting machines in Wales

A campaign group has highlighted the vast amounts of money being gambled on high-stakes betting machines in Wales, reports

Gamblers are spending more than £1.5 billion ever year, according to Fairer Gambling, as fixed odds betting terminals are allowed to take bets of up to £100.

In addition, the group is pointing the finger at shops that carry these machines, saying they are clustered in areas of high unemployment. For example, each gambler in the constituency of Cardiff Central splashes out £944.70 a year, with £79.6 million gambled in total. reports that Scotland spent even more on the machines, totalling at £4.2 billion last year.

As games can be played every 20 seconds, punters could potentially lose up to £18,000 an hour if they bet maximum stakes.

Gambling, along with alcohol, drugs, sex and more, can easily lead into an addiction. However, there are a number of avenues gamblers can take if they wish to stop betting - hypnotherapy courses, for example, can uncover the root causes of an addiction, as well as any other underlying factors.

Adrian Parkinson, a campaign consultant at Fairer Gambling, commented on the use of high-stakes machines: "You'll see people in shops, morning, noon and night, playing the machines. You'll never ever win on these games. The whole purpose is to make money. You're literally only buying time on the machine.

"If someone has a problem with gambling, they can self-exclude from the shop but there's nothing to stop them walking into a shop up the road," he added.