London, Dec 6: Britons are so mad about gambling that they are spending 46 billion pounds a year on machines in bookies, which is a rise of 50 percent in just four years.
Punters can lose up to 100 pounds every 20 seconds on the casino-style slot machines dubbed the "crack cocaine" of the betting industry.
Gambling Commission figures show bookies made 1.55 billion-pound profit from the terminals last year, the Daily Star reported.
The Commission also found 6,000 children were stopped trying to use betting shops, six times as many as just four years ago.
Fixed odds betting terminals, such as roulette machines, have even been linked to drugs money laundering. Deputy Labour Party Chairman Tom Watson has led a campaign to restrict prizes available on the machines. (ANI)