Highly Addictive Gambling Machines Becoming a Problem

Fixed-odds betting terminals are taking Britain and Europe by storm. Highly addictive gambling machines are being inconspicuously placed in everyday locations, casinos and betting houses not included. According to The Daily Mail, a British publication, “The machines, which allow users to wager up to £100 every 20 seconds on casino games such as roulette and bingo, accounted for 96 per cent of all losses in excess of £1,000 in the betting shop and arcades industry.” The numbers are staggering. These statistics are only the beginning:

  • More than £5,000 has been lost by gamblers in one gambling session on more than 650 occasions. That is one fifth of the average wage.

  • On 233,071 occasionals, gamblers lost £1,000

  • The Gambling Commission confirmed £1.8billion lost on FOBTs in one year

  • Since 2009, the total amount of money lost on FOBT machines has increased 73%

  • The number of machines available has only increased 9%, meaning it is not an increased presence of FOBT machines, but of addicted gamblers


“They allow consumers and at-risk gamblers to rack up huge losses,” the article cites. “The vast majority of everyday punters who are making major losses are doing so at these addictive betting shop machines at higher stakes.” As a result, more and more people are becoming addicted to gambling, finding themselves deeper into financial debt, and straining their relationships with family. Increasing amounts of stress, coupled with the weight of a gambling addiction, can result in poor health. Gambling is commonly co-occurring with drug and alcohol addiction which can take a toll on mental as well as physical health.


Gambling addiction is defined as a process addiction, or an addiction to a compulsive behavioral process. A combination of high stress, failing physical health, substance addiction, and running with dangerous crowds makes gambling addiction a fatal disease. The approach to treating gambling addiction needs to be SMART- which is how we approach it at Smarmore Castle. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound skills are taught to gambling addicts while they receive gambling-specific cognitive behavioural therapy and gain a deeper understanding of the twelve steps of Gamblers Anonymous. In order to fully recover from gambling addiction, addicts need to:

  • Understand their problem with gambling

  • Find deeper meanings in life which replace the meaning created by gambling

  • Learn skills for managing stress, cravings, and impulses

  • Build positive self-esteem

  • Develop communication for assertiveness

  • Create responsible structures for financial management and handling a growing bank account


At Smarmore Castle Private Clinic, real change is possible for gambling addicts. Working with financial mentors and debt counselors, our programmes help gambling addicts rebuild their lives, inside and out. Our caring staff is waiting to take your call and put you on the path to change. For information, call +353 41 214 5111.

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Smarmore Castle has the facilities and staff to help you regain control of your life, request a call-back from one of our professionals today. The choice you make today could change your life forever.

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