'I lost £5,000 in 48 hours on fixed-odds betting machines'

A fixed odds gambling machine

The government says it is looking at putting a £2 cap on fixed-odds betting machines.

They replicate casino games such as roulette and blackjack, where you can gamble up to £100 every time you place a bet.

Nathan, a student from Edinburgh, says the machines ruined his life.

"You can feed those notes in like crazy and you don't realise how much you're spending until you run out of money," he says.

To start with, he was only spending a few pounds at a time on gambling - but then moved on to fixed-odds machines.

At one point, he lost £5,000 in the space of 48 hours.

"That put me in a lot of trouble. I had to come clean to my family."

He says the machines are the quickest way to get hooked on gambling.

"If you get lucky on roulette, you can win up to £4,000 from your £100 stake so the buzz is definitely there.

"You can make a fortune if you're lucky. Unfortunately no-one ever is."

The Association of British Bookmakers - which represents the gambling industry - says £1.8bn was made from fixed-odds machines last year.

It says putting a £2 limit on them will mean half of all betting shops will close and 21,000 people will lose their jobs.

But Nathan thinks a £2 limit would be "fantastic".

Nathan
Image caption Nathan, who we've agreed not to identify, says he wants a £2 limit on the machines

"It would take away the ability to do what these machines have done to myself and other people in my position."

Nathan's now managed to stop gambling with the help of Gamblers Anonymous.

"I'm embarrassed by how I acted, the way I tried to hide it, the way I lied to the people closest to me.

"I lost a lot of trust with my parents and my partner. I'm rebuilding it very slowly."

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