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How I tried the 'crack cocaine' of gaming machines

As butchers and bakers close - its bookies, bookies and more bookies on some high streets. This lunchtime the government has released plans to give councils more control over betting shops.

At present they are in the same planning category as banks or estate agents.

Industry insiders tell me that some of the biggest bookies on Britain's high streets are now making half of all their retail earnings from terminals known as 'fixed odds betting terminals'.

I tried one out - gambling £100 in just 20 seconds.

Although many firms offer warnings in betting shops and encourage gamblers to set limits - some are so worried by the speed of the betting terminals, and their potential for addiction, that they have called them 'the crack cocaine of gaming machines'.

There are also plans for more controls over the opening of new betting shops. Credit: Slavko Midzor/PIXSELL

Now the prospect of tougher new regulations may make them far less of a safe bet for Britain's big bookies.

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