Stakes are high for bet­ting ad­dicts

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - BY JOSIE CLARKE

Tony Franklin once lost £3,500 on high-speed high­stakes fixed-odds bet­ting ter­mi­nals (FOBTs) in just 39 min­utes.

As re­cently as Septem­ber he lost £2,740 in 42 min­utes af­ter a spur of the mo­ment de­ci­sion to drop in to a book­mak­ers.

The cam­paigner for the Gam­bling Hurts pres­sure group was on his way to speak at a gam­bling con­fer­ence.

Mr Franklin said he has tried ev­ery­thing from ab­sti­nence to ther­apy to at­tend­ing Gam­blers Anony­mous, and was fi­nally re­cently di­ag­nosed with ADHD, for which he is now be­ing suc­cess­fully treated.

He said: “Gam­bling has been a hugely painful part of my life. I have been home­less, liv­ing on the streets.

“It has had a huge im­pact on my fam­ily, my par­ents, my wife, my son.”

Although Mr Franklin has gam­bled on ev­ery form of elec­tronic bet­ting, he has long been par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about FOBTs.

“Roulette is an ad­dic­tive game. It should never be al­lowed to be sped up and then put on ev­ery high street.”

He said of the de­ci­sion by the govern­ment to slash stakes on FOBTs to £2: “It’s a vic­tory for com­mon sense and a vic­tory for all the prob­lem gam­blers and their fam­i­lies who have been im­pacted by fixe­dodds bet­ting ter­mi­nals on the high street.”

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