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It is believed fraudsters pay cash into the terminal, making low-risk bets that involve a small relative loss, then withdraw most of the proceeds as a voucher which is exchanged for cash at the shop counter.

Available in bookies open seven days a week, often from 8am until 10pm, FOBTs are designed, says clinical psychologist Anna Henry, who treats gambling addicts, to foster addictions.

Moments later he is back and, hunched over once more, with a fresh cash loaded on to his terminal, begins punching random numbers again.

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This time the married accountant and father of three doesn’t want to talk. Today they have been transformed into glass and shiny steel emporiums where football and horseracing have declined in favour of the new scourge of Britain’s burgeoning gambling addiction: Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.Bookmakers across Britain house almost 35,000 of these FOBTs, which made a whopping profit of £1.7 billion for companies such as Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill from October 2013 to March 2015 (compared to the £1.4 billion that football, dog and horseracing raise altogether).A British hairdresser was sentenced to life in prison for deliberately infecting 5 men with the virus that cause AIDS.Daryll Rowe was sentenced Wednesday in Brighton, England for attempting to infect as many as 10 men with the HIV virus.The bookmakers rarely press charges, however, as the culprits are usually high-spending customers who are welcomed back. They have successfully argued that feeding money into a FOBT is like betting on a horserace since the “event” you are gambling on is happening on a computer server elsewhere.

Juanita shows me a leaflet telling punters that if they think they are developing a problem they should consult the staff. This allows them to set a maximum stake of £100.’Simon, from Dudley in the West Midlands, sought help and hasn’t gambled for three years. ‘In a few spins, in a few minutes, you can lose hundreds of pounds. But the high stakes can encourage players to chase losses, snaring them in a trap that can lead to debt, family breakdown and crime.’In contrast to the camaraderie among punters betting on dogs and horses, FOBT addicts are a breed apart.Secretive, highly protective of their ‘patch’ – since each bookmakers is allowed only four machines per premises – and, oblivious to the banter around them, they play fast and furiously.‘Basically the industry has created casinos in the High Street,’ she says. Last year, the Government increased the tax on FOBTs from 20 per cent to 25 per cent and last summer, when 93 councils lobbied for the maximum stake to be restricted to £2 (currently it is £100) it turned them down.‘These machine isolate the player, there is nothing to distract him from that screen. Justyn, 45, a former Army major who became an insurance broker with Lloyds earning a six-figure salary, lost his home, his family and racked up debts of £750,000 through his addiction to FOBTs. In 2012, his wife Emma walked out, taking the couple’s two sons when she discovered the debt.This week, two of the largest bookmakers, William Hill and Ladbrokes, are set to announce that for the first time each FOBT machine is pulling in £1,000 a week , the first time it has reached four figures.